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The US Military Just Invented A Robotic Insect Helicopter

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Now if that headline doesn't get you drawing the curtains and switching off the automated vacuum, we're not sure what will.

The US military's Defense Advanced Research Institute (DARPA) has turned to nature for an answer to a long-standing aviation problem: how to get a helicopter to land on uneven or even shifting terrain.

The result is that bug-like creation above - the Robotic Landing Gear. Sure, it's only working on a remote controlled model at the moment, but the proof of concept is impressive.

"Each leg has an integrated force-sensitive contact sensor in its foot," DARPA's website explains. "During landing, each leg extends and uses the sensor to determine in real time the appropriate angle to assume to ensure that the helicopter stays level without risking the rotor touching the landing area."

"Having the ability to land on and take off from angled, irregular and moving surfaces would greatly expand the effectiveness of helicopters across many military and national security missions."

So much for hiding from the robotic hordes atop a slope of uneven terrain. 

[Via: The Verge]

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