Meet the drone inspired by Spider-Man

A new prototype drone has been developed that uses spider web-like strings to perch and stabilise itself.

The SpiderMAV, developed by a team of researchers at Imperial College London, aims to offer a way for drones to land or perch even when in mid-air.

The new skill is seen as a key one in the drone world – and could save many crafts the difficulty and energy of having to return to the ground in order to stabilise.

The SpiderMAV is equipped with two types of Spider-Man style web shooters that use compressed gas to fire an anchor onto a magnetic surface.

The first sees the drone then reel in the thread until taut, then slowing or shutting off its engines and hanging in position.

A separate stabilising module can also be used to perch in one place, using more than one anchor line, fired outwards and reeled in to hold the drone in one place in mid-air.

The researchers have compared the drone’s skills to that of the bark spider.

For now, the system is in the very early stages of development – the team behind are yet to fully explain how the anchors are detached.

What they do say, is that the SpiderMAV “opens up a new trend in the field of robotics”, with research into the system likely to continue.

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