His name is Leonardo, or Leo for those closest to him, a kind of acronym for “legs on board drone”. It is the first drone in the world that, in addition to flying, also walks.
It has been developed by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and for now it is a prototype of what could be a flying bipedal robot capable of performing different missions, both air and land.
To create Leo, the engineers were inspired by nature, particularly birds, since these animals can fly and walk very easily. Thus, when the drone is in the middle of a difficult situation on the ground, it can soar like a bird would.
The prototype weighs 2.58 kilograms and reaches 75 centimeters in height. It also has four propellers at the top that allow it to fly and two slim, stable legs with which it can walk and stand upright.
According to the researchers, their intention behind this project was to develop “an unprecedented ability to walk, solving the problems posed by hybrid locomotion.”
The bad news, according to the scientists, is that, for now, this prototype consumes a lot of energy and is still not very efficient while maintaining flight, so some details need to be corrected.