Flying drone can roll on the ground to save energy over long distances

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This drone rolls most of the time but can fly over obstacles when needed

Ruibin Zhang et al./Zhejiang University, Hangzhou

An autonomous drone with wheels can roll along the ground, only flying when needed to clear obstacles, which helps its battery last seven times longer, according to its developers.

Rolling robots are efficient and can travel long distances, but cannot traverse big obstacles, while flying drones can get past large obstructions, but have limited range. Now, Ruibin Zhang and his colleagues at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China, have attempted to combine the benefits of both types…

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