Meet the GimBall, Flyability's new rescue drone that flies like an insect and looks like something out of the Buckminster Fuller playbook. The drone has a motor in the center surrounded by a flexible geodesic sphere, giving it the ability to collide with objects without breaking.
The GimBall recently won the Drones for Good competition, taking in a nice million dollars from the United Arab Emirates. It's designed to work in dangerous or disaster-stricken areas. It's rugged design is intended to help it overcome any obstacle it might encounter as it searches for human survivors. Because of its geodesic design, the moving parts are far away enough from humans not to harm any appendages that might be in its way. Adrien Briod, Flyability's co-founder and CTO, said "The goal of this flying robot is to reproduce the amazing capabilities of insects — especially the fact that they can collide into things and continue flying afterwards."
"The goal of this flying robot is to reproduce the amazing capabilities of insects."
Because the outer frame moves in dependently of the motor inside, it can also maintain altitude when colliding with objects. The shape also allows it to roll across ceilings and floors as needed.
Flyability's drone can be cheaply made, providing an inexpensive and potentially invaluable tool in search and rescue operations. s