Advertisements Driving, Flying Drones

MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory has created a quadcopter drone with wheels, enabling it to drive and fly. views this as a highly significant breakthrough innovation with a potentially wide range of applications in the future.

The drones, which can operate in a group or “swarm”, can transition from flying to driving without colliding with each other.  MIT study lead author Brandon Araki, a roboticist, says that currently robots good at one mode of transportation usually aren’t adept at another.

The MIT roboticists previously developed a robot called the “flying monkey” that could run, fly and grasp items.  But scientists had to program it paths.  It couldn’t find safe routes on its own.  Now these scientists have developed what they’re calling “flying cars” that can drive and fly in city-like simulated settings.  In tests, they operate autonomously and don’t collide with each other.

For a podcast with Dr. Carl Dietrich, the inventor of the world’s first FAA approved flying car “The Transition” with human operators go to our website

The roboticists at MIT deployed 8, 4 motor quadcopter drones and attached 2 small motors with wheels at the bottom of each drone.  In simulations they could fly for about 300 feet and drive for about 825 feet before their batteries ran out.

According to lead author Brandon Araki vehicles that combine flying and driving have the potential of being much more versatile, efficient and useful vehicles than those that can only fly or drive.  He believes the MIT team’s work with these hybrid quadhelicopters helps to explore various concepts related to flying cars.

From our point of view at, it’s a breakthrough robotic technology that certainly has the potential of being a big gamechanger in the future, whether it be the drone version or the human operated Flying Car.

For more information,  go to or view related posts on our website  on “Artful Dodger Drones” 3/7/18, “Robotic Innovation Breakthroughs” 2/27/18 and the Flying Car Podcast of 1/14/18.


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