On this year’s IROS(IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems), a very interesting drone design was presented. A quadrotor ring shaped drone which can travel not only in the air, but also on land and water!
It’s name is MUWA which stands for Multi-ﬁeld Universal Wheel for Air-land Vehicle, but it also means “Dream ring” in Japanese hinting at its specific appearance. The quadrotor UAV is seated inside a large white foam ring which is what makes it so special.
Thanks to its shape it can roll on the ground while maintaining perfect balance and the ring material enable it to float on water horizontally.
The mechanism behind these features is the usage of independently controllable variable pitch propellers, which provide advanced angle fine tuning. These make it possible for it to get into vertical position from the ground, jump over obstacles, roll at an angle and various other amazing feats, all of which are presented in the following video.
It’s always great to see innovative designs and this one in particular makes UAVs much more useful than before.