Eye-bot Lands On Your Ceiling

The Eye-bot is a quadrotor UAV with a special feature; it can attach itself to the ceiling, resting in a perfect position for surveillance.

(Eye-bot V3 video)

The current version is Eye-bot-V3:

The system incorporates three levels of control, the low-level flight stability controller, middle-level autonomous controller and high-level guidance system (figure 4). The two lower levels are incorporated in a single printed circuit board which also contains 3D inertial sensing and connectivity for additional sensing. The guidance system is based on a custom developed (at the LSRO) i.MX31 floating point processor board running Linux.

There are several onboard sensors to help the eye-bot navigate through an indoor environment and coordinate with other eye-bots (figure 5) including:
Sonar and pressure sensing for altitude control
Optical-flow for drift detection
Magnetometer for heading determination
360 infrared distance scanner for collision detection and navigation
Relative positioning sensor for swarm co-ordination and communication
Custom 360 pan-tilt 3MP camera system

The Eye-bot-V3 also has some interesting autonomous capabilities, including stable flight with leveling off, automatic take-off and landing, collision avoidance and anti-drift and, of course, autonomous ceiling attachment and detachment.

The Eye-bot-V3 was created by James F. Roberts and Timothy Stirling, supervised by Prof. Dario Floreano and Dr. Jean-Christophe Zufferey at the School of Engineering of the Ecole Polytechnique in Lausanne.

SF fans recall such early perching UAVs as that amazing fictional miniature flying machine, the Scarab Flying Insect Robot from the 1936 story by Raymond Z. Gallun.

I'd also mention the servo-optical stick-tight, a spy cell supported by rotary wings described by Jack Vance in his 1964 novel The Star King.

Read about other Stealthy, Persistent Perch and Stare UAVs and the Perching Autonomous Aircraft Perfects Prop Hang .

From The eye-bots at the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems via Botjunkie.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/21/2009)

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