Disney is extending their reach beyond the fictional world into real life. Disney Research Zurich and ETH have collaborated on a robot that drives both on the ground and up walls. The lightweight, 3D printed machine is mounted with a couple of propellers which tilt in order to facilitate the transition between the ground and walls. Disney claims that the robot is able to “travel through urban and indoor environments” with ease.
It’s actually a bit unnerving to see the robot rolling across the surface of a concrete wall like an overgrown insect. What possible uses can this robot have? Perhaps it can carry supplies to people who are stranded in otherwise unreachable locations or, if advancements reach that point, carry the injured to safety.
The current build is small, but there is plenty of room for the design to evolve and improve. What’s frightening to imagine is that this technology can and probably will be weaponized. If these robots are armed, they can venture into territory that airborne drones simply cannot. So far, the intention seems to be mostly humanitarian in nature.