The world’s first collision-tolerant drone is now the $1M prize winner for the UAE’s Drones for Good award, an international competition that showcases the best civilian-made unmanned aerial vehicles that can improve people’s lives. Built by Flyability, the GimBall’s geodesic carbon fiber shell protects it when it inevitably crashes into obstacles.
“The goal of this flying robot is to reproduce the amazing capabilities of insects, especially the fact that they can collide into things and continue flying afterwards. To reproduce this, we realized we could put a lot of intelligence in the mechanics by having this rotating frame around the inner frame that always remains stable, even when there are collisions.”
The drone’s protective sphere is also safe for humans that it might come in contact with during search and rescue missions, whether it’s flying through the air or rolling on the ground. Watch as it flies autonomously through the forest:
We love it when robots are inspired by nature. Watch more biomimicry videos, including the incredible jumping Sand Flea robot, the secrets of a sidewinder snake on a sandy slope, and Festo Robot Animals: Penguins, jellyfish, and rays.