FlyCroTugs: Small wasp-inspired drone can pull 40 times its own weight
The FlyCroTugs, Developed in the labs of Mark Cutkosky, the Fletcher Jones Chair in the School of Engineering at Stanford University, and Dario Floreano at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland, are small drones that can pull 40 times their own weight. The name derives from Flying MiCro Tugging and the small unmanned aircraft are inspired by wasps and geckos. Wasps can drag much larger prey away by using a special structure on their feet called an arolium. It helps them to get grip on a surface. Geckos have a similar ability to find grip on very smooth surfaces although they use a different technique. The FlyCroTugs drones took inspiration from both the wasps and geckos and it allows them to drag items that are far too heavy to carry. If a task is too big for a single drone, FlyCroTugs can team up and achieve extraordinary results, such as opening a door. See the video below.