This article was published more than 5 years ago. Some information in it may no longer be current.
The Antro is a micro drone which you control by using a virtual reality headset and a handheld controller. Using it, you have the capacity to explore our world in a completely new way and look at it from a very different perspective.
VR headsets are already here, and content is already being built for these products. One way to use them will be to control machines, so I started thinking about how we could use them differently. Instead of thinking big, I thought, ‘Why not go small?’ This is how the “Ant-size Robot,” or Antro, came to be.
How it works
Basically, the Antro has two wheels like a Segway and keeps its balance at all times. It’s also equipped with two micro cameras that will transmit a live video feed to each eye. This way you will see in 3D. The sounds will be transmitted to your headset along with the images but they will be processed so that you feel like you are 1 cm tall.
The pincers on the Antro could be used to move stuff out of the way or lift the whole bot up and over small twigs. I am not even sure if it makes sense to use pincers, but we included them on the concept so that robotics engineers can comment on how to use them. These pincers would, of course, affect the balance of the Antro every time they move.
The robot has a back skid plate to gently pass under obstacles such as doors. (If you have a tiny spy robot, why not use it to do a little limbo dance and pass under a door?) The skid plate would simply slide on the floor, and the wheels would drag the bot past the obstacles. The handheld controller could also provide force feedback to the user if the Antro has difficulty passing through a tight spot.
What it’s used for
The Antro could be used as a toy for kids. It could also be used for search-and-rescue missions or to explore hard-to-reach places. A walking version of this robot could be developed along with different sizes.
The images of the Antro concept were created by Abhishek Roy. Roy is the founder of Lunatic Koncepts, a start-up design lab based in India. His team also created the renderings of the Elektrogliss exotic hovercraft car and the Dolfido human-powered submarine.
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