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UP THE WALL

Disney is working on a gravity-defying robot that can scale walls

By Alice Truong

Deputy editor

Disney just showed off a new robot that’s capable of scaling walls, taking the term “all-terrain” to a whole other level.

VertiGo is a collaborative project between Disney Research Zurich and university ETH Zurich. The video above shows the robot traversing the ground before effortlessly climbing a wall.

The VertiGo’s apparent ability to defy gravity is due to its lightweight carbon fiber body and two tiltable propellers. The front propeller helps transition the robot from ground to wall by flipping it over into position. The rear propeller, meanwhile, provides thrust onto the wall, allowing VertiGo to travel on walls with uneven surfaces.

Providing some clues into what applications Disney might have for VertiGo, researcher Paul Beardsley told IEEE Spectrum that “one can imagine that robots with lighting effects could be useful for entertainment effects or for wall games.”

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