By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer
The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) is an organization that focuses on making advanced robots. This week, they held a conference for over 8,000 people to show off robot creations from private companies and government agencies. Naturally, there were state-of-the-art drones that caught the attention of military and law enforcement officials. But hey, I’m neither of those, and I want to know about the weird robots there! I figured you would like to know, too, so here are three of the most interesting bots I could find.
The first one is called the Skate – from Aurora Flight Sciences – but some people are calling it the Styrofoam drone. If that reminds you of cups and plates at birthday parties that blows away on windy days, it should! You see, this tiny aircraft is mostly made up of styrofoam! It weighs around 2 pounds (I can’t even imagine how it can get into the air, it’s so light) and features a video recording camera. Since the plane is so light, it can easily be used by military soldiers to launch into the air and spy on the enemy during battle.
If you don’t think that was wacky, you’ll definitely be shocked by the Bird’s Eye, from Bird Aerospace. This drone comes in a can! When you open the cylinder, it’s launched about 300 feet up and assembles itself into a plane! I know, crazy right? For some reason, this reminds me of the Transformers cars that leap into the air and switch to their robot forms. The Bird’s Eye can fly up to three hours at a time and stream HD video to the pilot who is controlling him from the ground with a remote.
At least the Bird’s eye and Skate look kind of like a plane, right? Get ready for some weirdness. The company Boston Engineering modeled their robot, Ghost Swimmer, after a fish! The underwater robot swims like a tuna and uses sonar technology to look for submarines and underwater mines. Ghost Swimmer’s engineer, Patrick McCammon, mentioned the sensor would also be great to wriggle out of a fisherman’s net if the robot is ever caught in one.
Styrofoam planes, bots-in-a-can, and metal fish! We humans are a creative bunch aren’t we?
Ghost Swimmer image courtesy of Boston Engineering.