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View Full Version : Contenders for DARPA’s flying robot competition



Ron Czapala
02-08-2012, 08:23 PM
Watch the contenders for DARPA’s flying robot competition take to the sky
(http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/technology-blog/watch-contenders-darpa-flying-robot-competition-sky-170346156.html)DARPA was on the hunt for the best unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or drone designs, so it launched the UAVForge competition in late 2011. While helicopter and plane-like designs were expected, a few of the entries were actually rather unique. Take for example the round Death Star-like drone called GremLion that you can see in the video above.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtU0y8Le9mA
Designed by the National University of Singapore, the GremLion caught people's eyes for being the most unusual among the bunch. But it didn't just stand out because it was quirky — it also placed top in the first round of voting based on these proof-of-flight videos the contestants submitted.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qya7MXR-rS0
Yet another unusual entry is X-MUAS, which can fold its wings to take on a box-like shape so it take off and land vertically. It can transform into a more aerodynamic form while in the air by unfolding its wings.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaxpE3svamo
This last video is of a design called QuadShot that, like the GremLion, seemed to have been inspired by Star Wars. If you watch it flying around in the clip above, you'll notice that it looks just like a miniature version of the B-wing Starfighter in the franchise.

Want to see the rest of the entries? Head over to the official UAVForge contest website for all the proof of flight videos. If DARPA ever finds any of these designs viable, then they could be used for various purposes like reconnaissance missions, search and rescue, and quick resupply operations in the future.