This quadrotor flies — and rolls — over just about anything

The cage rotates independently of the central rotor unit in this simple design.

(Credit: Illinois Institute of Technology)

We’ve seen how flying quadrotors can form spectacular displays in the sky, but what if they could roll along the ground too?

Engineers at the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Robotics Lab have been developing a power-efficient machine that can move on land and air. It also happens to be extremely Crave-worthy.

HyTAQ (Hybrid Terrestrial and Aerial Quadrotor) has four rotors that allow it to fly like other quadrotors. But it also has a flexible cylindrical cage around it that acts like a wheel when it’s on the ground, as well as an overall shock absorber.

The rotors and the cage use the same actuators and control system, making the HyTAQ light and efficient.

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