Disney’s VertiGo robot climb walls just like a ninja even it doesn’t have legs. And if you ask me why the mass media and entertainment conglomerate decide to build a wall-climbing robot, I can only say that this robot is the Disney’s ticket in the robotics business. Like many more movies and characters, this robot looks like a hit.
VertiGo is a hybrid robot. It can drive on both floors and walls, even you drive it in urban or indoor environments. I have some years in the robotics field, and I cannot remember too many robots that successfully combines two different abilities.
VertiGo is not 100% a Disney project, or rather it has not been built entirely by Disney’s researchers. It is a project designed and built by the researchers at Disney Research Zurich in collaboration with mechanical engineering students at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH).
On the ground, the robot uses the front wheels to change the direction by turning left or right – like the front wheels of a car. A simple robot with wheels uses a DC motor to drive, but this is not the VertiGo case. The Disney’s robot uses two propellers to drive on the ground or straight up walls. Each propeller works independently of each other and changes position depending on the situation. The robot works controlled by a person that direct the front wheels and the motors that power the propellers. But this is all the man behind the remote control can do. Both propellers tilt automatically so that the robot drive on walls or ground.
When the robot climbs a wall, the rear propeller of the robot is tilted outward behind it so that the force of the propeller pushes the body of the robot toward the wall. At the same time, the front propeller pushes the robot upward to change the horizontal position to a vertical position.
The body of the robot is made of carbon fiber, while other parts such as the suspension systems of the wheels and the wheels are printed with a 3D printer.
Its body is like an open book. You can see the electronics, battery, wires, the 3D printed parts, and more.
In the video presentation of the robot, you can see how the robot drives on the ground and then climb on a flat wall. So VertiGo might be the next source that inspires a new movie series.