Thu. Nov 30th, 2023
    Meet DRAGON: The Shape-Shifting Drone That Pushes Boundaries of Autonomous Technology

    In the historic grounds of Bletchley Park, England, where the brilliant mind of Alan Turing once roamed, the global AI community gathers for the AI Safety Summit. This annual event paves the way for the future of artificial intelligence, and this year, it introduces a groundbreaking piece of autonomous technology that pushes the boundaries of what we thought was possible – meet DRAGON.

    DRAGON (Dual-rotor embedded multilink Robot with the Ability of multi-deGree-of-freedom aerial transformatiON) may conjure images of mythical creatures and futuristic sci-fi, but it is far from fiction. Created by innovative researcher Zhao, DRAGON takes inspiration from ancient dragon mythology and combines it with cutting-edge drone technology.

    Unlike traditional drones, DRAGON is constructed from multiple modules connected by hinged joints. With its autonomous decision-making capabilities, this shape-shifting drone can undergo transformative shape formations, opening a world of possibilities. Currently, DRAGON can stay airborne for just over three minutes and exert a force of 3.5 newtons to push objects.

    Yet, Zhao envisions a future where DRAGON and similar devices can seamlessly transition between ground-based movement and aerial flight. He plans to equip these drones with additional tools like grippers and legs, enabling them to walk and perform tasks with enhanced efficiency.

    The ambitious project is not solely confined to the walls of the University of Tokyo. The Japanese government has shown support for Zhao’s vision, particularly regarding the development of delivery drones that can not only fly but also land gracefully. Such advancements would revolutionize current delivery methods and outperform trials involving dropping packages onto QR codes in large backyards.

    As news of DRAGON spreads across social media, reactions have varied from awe to skepticism and even grammar corrections about its name. While some express concerns about the potential misuse of such technology, it is crucial to view it as a testament to human ingenuity and our relentless pursuit of progress.


    Q: What does DRAGON stand for?
    A: DRAGON represents Dual-rotor embedded multilink Robot with the Ability of multi-deGree-of-freedom aerial transformatiON.

    Q: How long can DRAGON stay aloft?
    A: Currently, DRAGON can remain airborne for slightly over three minutes.

    Q: What is the future plan for DRAGON?
    A: The creator, Zhao, intends to develop DRAGON to have the capability to move efficiently on the ground, fly, and change shape as required. Additionally, he envisions equipping the drone with grippers and legs for walking.

    Q: Is there government support for DRAGON’s development?
    A: Yes, the Japanese government supports the project, particularly regarding the development of delivery drones that can land effectively.

    Source: Article based on original content from Interesting Engineering.