Posts Tagged ‘David Santos’

1999 – “Mr. Peanut” the Flying Android – David Santos (American)

Two Flying Humanoids successfully tested over downtown Austin, June 5, '99. Sponsored by the Austin Museum of Art's Robots Live! program.

These were quite large – see the drawing of a person for comparison.


The Humanoid Airship

A "flying peanut" winged humanoid robot is under development for the opening of Austin's new airport.

The shape is a compromise between lifting gas volume and humanoid expression.

Wall walking is a new wrinkle. The winged humanoid is to be able to walk on a vertical wall or cieling by powering into it with its wings to provide foot traction and directional vectoring.

A persistent question is to be able to shift the robot's center of mass around its center of buoyancy, and manipulate its buoyancy so as to support wall and ceiling walking. a) balance robot neutrally and use vectored wing thrust to apply foot pressure to any surface. b) drop distributed ballast masses, vent helium, and maintain ballonets. c) shift ballast dynamically. 

robofest 93

The dominant features of the larger room, whenever they were flying, were the blimps, 20 foot long aluminized mylar airships with instrument platforms slung beneath their bulk. I have already described one of them, the Ornithopter. Although not really a robot, but rather a radio controlled airship, it was nonetheless captivating by its sheer zaniness. Looking like a blimp designed by Hieronymus Bosch (in reality, by Founding Member David Santos), it flew by flapping its absurdly undersized wings, and when near the floor it ran on a pair of semi-realistic plastic legs.

David Santos

See other Pneumatic, Fluidic, and Inflatable robots here.

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1990 – Bipedal Ornithopter – David Santos (American)

Bipedal Ornithopter in flight.



Bipedal Onithopter UAV By David Santos

It runs on two legs, flaps wings to take flight, and flys nimbly about the nooks and crannies of urban landscapes. Featured on the Discovery Channel's, Invention Series, ABC's Good Morning America, and Newsweek magazine.

The blimp is a 12-foot-long airship with running legs and insect like wings. This project was one of several developed by David Santos designed to demonstrate far fetched concepts. Others he developed were a boat that sails directly into the wind, a rain powered vehicle, the ProtoAndroid, and flying spheres.

Want to build a micro-blimp? Instructions on fabricating envelopes are [were?] available from David Santos via The Robot Group.

Intellectual property statement- Patents Pending. Designs protected by copyright. Noncommercial personal and educational use encouraged.

Good Morning America featured Santos' flying sculpture, Bipedal Ornithopter, a robotic flying machine that runs on two legs and takes off with flapping wings, at the Omni Hotel atrium, summer of '93.

For another Bipedal Ornithopter, without the balloon, see the video below:

BOLT, the Bipedal Ornithopter for Locomotion Transitioning, is a lightweight bipedal ornithopter designed for high-speed dynamic running and transitioning between aerial and terrestrial locomotion modes. The advantages provided by wings in terrestrial locomotion, coupled with aerial capabilities, allow navigating complex three dimensional environments. The robot is fitted with a 6-axis IMU for studying the gait dynamics of both quasi-static and dynamic locomotion modes. The aerodynamic forces of the flapping wings impart passive stability to the robot, enabling bipedal running with a single actuator–a critical feature given the weight constraints on a flying platform. BOLT can transition from running to aerial hovering in as little as one meter of runway.

See other Pneumatic, Fluidic, and Inflatable robots here.