A drone that can move on ground and fly depending upon its mission has been developed by the Tsinghua University in China.
This first-of-its-kind drone is equipped with a four-wheel drive system to move over rough and mountainous terrain besides a quadcopter system for vertical take-off and flight, China Daily reported Monday, citing the team that developed the drone.
Although the drone has not yet found applications in the military, it could be useful for Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) operations.
The vehicle, which is 1 meter long, 0.6 meters wide and 0.6 meters high, can conduct three-dimensional path planning, and can realize the functions of vertical takeoff and landing, spatial planning, hovering in the air and flight obstacle avoidance, according to the team.
With a real-time perception module, the vehicle can recognize different types of obstacle or terrain. When it encounters obstacles or terrain that cannot be bypassed on the ground, the vehicle can switch to flying mode and seek a more suitable area for driving on the ground. The efficient and smooth switch of working modes will help improve the efficiency of transportation.
The vehicle has been tested in both urban environment and mountain areas with complex terrain.
It can be used in delivering goods and for rescue missions, and it can be integrated into intelligent transportation systems in smart cities.