DARPA Crowdsourced UAVForce robots begin to fly

There's a project going on at the moment with DARPA in which teams are asked to create their own unmanned aerial vehicles, and it's time for proof-of-flight time in the field. The first robot in this group of groups that's being tipped as the leader at the moment is the GremLion UAV from the National University of Singapore. This little monster is a four-wheeled machine with a pod that opens up and deploys propellers that allow it to lift straight up off the ground and land precisely as it jumps.

This first entry also happens to look like a Death Star and will be capable of 2 miles of live video streaming as well as seeing a tree so it does not bonk directly in to it. Have a peek at the demonstration video for the GremLion here, and try not to freak out too much over how incomplete it still is at the moment:

Next there's the X-MAUS, a quad-copter that is able to unfold itself after it's taken off so that it can fly as an airplane for more efficient movement. This model appears very much to be an erector-set constructed piece made with styrofoam and some gears that allow it to transform into a superhero on the fly.

Then there's the QuadShot fro TU Delft, this one again appearing to come straight out of Star Wars, this time in the form of a B-Wing. These machines show up in Return of the Jedi, if you'd like to know, but they're certainly not the inspiration for the QuadShot, right? These models and a whole lot more will continue the competition through the coming weeks and the whole thing will come to an end sometime this Summer!

[via ieee spectrum]