A side view of the construction procedure. Perching in complex terrain such as in forests is a main challenge for aerial robots. The benefit of perching is that it can enable long duration monitoring and sensing tasks that would not be possible by using propelled flight, due to the high energy consumption required for hovering. This video file shows how two Nano Aerial Vehicles (NAV) build a tensile support structure between two trees that is then used to attach a perching NAV for energy efficient station holding. The principle of perching is inspired from the way in which spiders build support structures and, in the case of ballooning spiders, how they use their string for flight and perching in complex environments. The video illustrates an example of how passive adaptivity of the string can be used in addition to the NAV flight control to allow for highly robust perching as described in the article titled, "Learning from nature how to land aerial robots". This material relates to a paper that appeared in the May 20, 2016 issue of Science, published by AAAS. The paper, by M.A. Graule at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass., and colleagues was titled, "Perching and takeoff of a robotic insect on overhangs using switchable electrostatic adhesion."
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