Unicycle with Rotor-Assisted Turning Mechanism: A Hybrid Vehicle That Can Roll on the Ground and Fly

Unicycle hybrid that can fly and move on the ground

Unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones or unmanned aircraft, can assist humans in solving a wide range of real-world issues. For example, they can aid them during military missions and search and retrieval missions, deliver packages, or explore environments that are hard to access. UAVs with conventional designs can be limited in their application.

Some UAVs may not be able to land on uneven terrains, or navigate through narrow gaps. Others might use too much energy or operate only for short periods of time. They are therefore difficult to use for more complex missions requiring reliable movement in unfavorable or changing landscapes.

Researchers from Zhejiang University recently developed a hybrid, unmanned vehicle that can roll on the ground as well as fly. This unique system is based on the unicycle (a cycling vehicle with only one wheel) and a rotating-assist turning mechanism.