Gravity is a good thing to have most of the time, but sometimes it would be nice to be able to ignore it for certain applications. Climbing, for example, would be much easier, as would inspecting bridges in the same way as a group of mechanical engineering cadets (students) from the Citadel, a military college in South Carolina, was responsible for doing so. Frustrated with the amount of traffic backups caused by normal bridge inspections, they invented a gravity-defying robot and won a $10,000 prize for their efforts.
The result is basically an RC car with a built-in drone, or looking at it another way, it’s a drone with wheels. The car is capable of rolling over vertical surfaces to inspect bridges using its propellers to force itself onto the surface. The absence of moving parts or complex machinery, such as a cable suspension system or other contraption, makes this device exceptionally versatile for the task at hand, reduces the time required for inspections, and can perform them more safely and without close traffic lanes. . The group hopes to build a second prototype soon and present it to the Ministry of Transport for approval for more widespread use.
The need for tools like these is also in high demand, especially in the United States, where crumbling infrastructure is often not considered, taken seriously, or prioritized. Even for bridges that aren’t major pieces of infrastructure, tools like these will come in very handy.
Thanks to [Ben] for the tip!