Caltech’s LEONARDO (LEg ON Aerial Robotic DrOne) robot can now balance itself and even walk, using drone propeller thrusters. It’s mainly composed of carbon fiber, stands 0.75-meters tall, and weighs in at just 2.75 kilograms, which means that the thrusters mounted on either side of its torso will eventually be able to lift it off the ground. Read more for the latest progress video and additional information.
Unfortunately, those thrusters aren’t designed to turn LEO ito a flying robot, but rather enhance what its legs will be able to do. In other words, they’re primarily being used to actively balance its upper body, so that the legs aren’t tasked with all the work. The propellers are synchronized perfectly with the leg joints to move the torso up and down under closed-loop control, thus enabling it to perform more agile motions.