Friday, March 20, 2015

Gimball: Is it SUPPOSED to crash?

There has been astounding, technological progress in terms of vehicles and drones sensing, avoiding, and navigating around sects of obstacles. A new innovation has recently sprung up, which does the exact opposite: This mechanism intentionally collides with obstacles. Swiss company called ‘Flyability’ has recently proposed a novel-like product: The Gimball. The Gimball is a drone consisting of two rotors placed dead-center of a meshed, soft globe. The meshed, outer fractal interchanges in independent motions when compared to the nucleic drone in the center. Due to this independent rotation, the drone is able to bounce off a platitude of different obstacles, while maintaining it’s altitude. This independent rotation is quite unique, because the Gimball actually uses the collision between different materials as a navigating push. When the drone is given a specific endpoint location, it will roll along and steer way off of ceilings and walls in order to find a manageable path towards the endpoint.

In the words of Adrien Briod ( Flyability’s co-founder and CTO), “The goal of this flying robot is to reproduce the amazing capabilities of insects”. Utilizing the term of biomimicry (The design/production of materials modeled after the movements of biological entities), the company hopes to utilize the internal structure of insects that is able to collide into things naturally and continue to fly undamaged when descending.

The company envisions the drone “Gimball” for dangerous indoor situations that need third-party assistance. Some of these situations could be fire, chemical leaks, or nuclear meltdowns. In case of high-danger emergencies, a “Gimball” mechanism can be deployed in order to search and locate any potential survivors, or to determine whether or not going into a particular environment is too dangerous for a human to intervene. I have to say, this little drone can end up making a huge difference for safety precautions in the near future.

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Written by: Sofia Azmal

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