Derek Howe
that's pretty cool. limited use though, since the pilot should just land on a flat spot. But whatever, I love seeing all the cool shit DARPA creates.
How can that in any way be considered "robotic"? It's a self-adjusting landing gear. Nothing robotic about it.
Needs at least one more leg each side. With four points of contact with the ground, if one leg slips into a hole, sinks or just suffers a failure, the helo may well tip catastrophically. with more legs, much less chance of such a disaster.
I would think hydraulic actuators would be a better fit. Link them all together, let them hang until all four are touching then lock in place with a valve. The only case where you would need a continuous leveling mechanism after touchdown would be on watercraft. For terrestrial use, the electronics would be unnecessary.
Stephen N Russell
Lisc, & retrofit to other copters alone, id be awesome IF mass producable & retrofittable to copter types. Must for rural & wilderness venues alone aside after disasters, quakes, floods alone Add pontoons for water landings.
What a brilliant idea. Don't care if it is not robotic, it clearly works. I would say that a six leg configuration is a good idea too, but only for larger helicopters, military and rescue in particular.
I would tend to agree with Techtwit that if you could add another point of contact without increasing the weight it would be better.
I would be interested in the total weight of this system as compared to a current set of skids, since weight (and balance) are critical for helicopter design and/or safe flight.
Also the "system" should have some automatic "override" that would prevent its operation during an autorotation or similar emergency.
Jay Donnaway
Aye, more streamlined in flight than skids, but the tiny feet are unreliable for rough/soft terrain. With six or more legs it could crab-walk itself off the pad, right into a hangar! (Greater weight and complexity would be required for legs that could walk forward rather than sideways.)
Island Architect
Clearly you do not want to be on the upside of the landing spot on a slope.