Search and rescue operations in more remote areas can benefit from advanced technology such as drones, but you can never count on the NSA being in the right place at the right time during an emergency. But even if they were, big drones suitable for either launching missiles at insurgents or delivering Amazon packages might not be cut out for getting into smaller areas. Also, there are times when there just won’t be enough room to fly (think inside a bunch of tangled cables or twisted metal) and you just have to hit the ground and walk. What could possibly handle such a task? Short answer: the vampire bat. And now we’re going to build some to take care of these critical jobs.

A robot inspired by vampire bats could carry out search and rescue operations in areas that most automobiles can not reach. How does it work?

DALER is a new robot made to look like a bat, which is capable of walking and flying. The device was created to be in a position to access different terrains, allowing the craft to conduct a wide wide variety of search and rescue operations.

The Deployable Air-Land Exploration Robot (DALER) is patterned following vampire bats. Wings of the robot are constructed of fabric stretched more than a versatile skeletal structure. This allows the limbs, identified as whegs, to play the roles of both wings and legs.

This is hard to appreciate until you watch the video below, but the way this design allows for the transition from flying to walking is the truly remarkable part of this. They had to keep the bot lightweight to maintain maneuverability and range, which affected the design decisions as to how to make it “walk.” Adding on wheels or jointed legs with individual motors would drive up the weight too much. That’s where the vampire bat comes in. The bats land and then use the stiff material in the tips of their wings like extended legs to drag them along. The tips of this bot’s wings are pointed and rotate, acting like a Transformers style pair of robot legs to pull it across the ground. And in the air, it really gets moving.

Down side: No lasers.

In any event, rather than dwelling on the horrible news about the government and elections, this was just something I thought you might enjoy. Check it out.