Come the robot uprising, Paraswift will climb the walls, attack from the sky

Its inventors say it could be used to create 3D models of urban environments for applications like Google Street View, but take one look at Paraswift — the vertical-wall-climbing, base-jumping robot featured in the video above — and you'll know it to be true: come the robot uprising, we humans are totally humped.


Paraswift is the result of a collaboration between Disney Research and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, and uses a special rotor called an "impeller" to create a vortex that lets it stick to the wall as it climbs. Oh, and it can also deploy a paraglider to stealthily dispatch its unsuspecting victims from above return safely to earth.

Unlike traditional wall-climbing robots, which use magnetic adhesion or grips (requiring metallic and smooth surfaces, respectively), Paraswift relies on what ETH student Lukas Geissman describes as "a mini tornado." The pressure gradient surrounding the mini tornado's low-pressure center allows Paraswift to scale metal, non-metal, smooth and rough vertical surfaces alike (check the video below).

"The big benefit of this is that you don't need to have a seal between the physical robot and the wall because the vortex forms its own seal around the low-pressure area," said Disney Research's Paul Beardsley, who, along with Geissmann, presented Paraswift yesterday at the Conference on Climbing and Walking Robots and the Support Technologies for Mobile Machines in Paris.


The robot's combined abilities also make it the world's first compact robot capable of both climbing and flying. I mean come on...a wall-climbing, base-jumping robot that makes its own tornadoes? The human race doesn't stand a chance.

Via New Scientist

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John Hazard

It's pretty neat, but not nearly cool enough to justify the whole team slow-motion walking behind the thing.