https://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/drones/tiny-drones-team-up-to-open-doorsHaving tiny drones that can explore cramped spaces and still exert large forces upon their surroundings opens many new possibilities for search-and-rescue applications in either civilian or military scenarios. For example, Estrada suggested that such drones could be a portable tool for first responders or military personnel to deploy sensors or transport medical supplies to a person stuck in a remote location.
In one of the team’s experiments, a FlyCroTug drone clung to an overhang as it pulled up a battery-powered camera to perform inspections of a collapsed building site at a military training facility outside of Geneva, Switzerland.
A second door-opening scenario required teamwork between two FlyCroTug drones. The first drone grabbed the door handle with a special grappling attachment and then anchored itself to the smooth glass door. The second drone slipped a hook under the door and then latched onto the nearby carpet to pull the door open, once the handle had been turned.