Take a look at this flying robot created by researchers at the University of Seville.
(Flying robot arm)
"We’ve integrated the control of the arm with the control of the aerial platform itself. It’s necessary to control both at the same time. The robot estimates its position using GPS and a video camera,” explains Aníbal Ollero Baturone, Professor of robotics and unmanned systems at the University of Seville.
That helps the flying machine to understand where it is exactly, and look for objects it can recognise and interact with.
“In the past number of years drones have advanced a lot. They have mainly been focusing on data-gathering – they can carry a camera and take images, and so on. And in the last three to four years, new uses related to interaction have been developed,” said Guillermo Heredia, Professor of Robotics and Automatic Control, School of Engineering at the University of Seville.
Flying robots capable of picking up and carrying cargo are a challenge: they need a shifting centre of gravity to counterbalance the load and a very precise and lightweight arm.
“This platform is unique in the world, because it integrates this arm with six degrees of freedom and it allows the hand to have fixed positions in space even if the robot moves,” said Miguel Ángel Trujillo Soto, Research engineer in avionics, FADA-CATEC.
Fans of Philip K. Dick are probably thinking that the surveillance drones from his 1960 novel Vulcan's Hammer are also armed robots.