Among many other things presented at this year's ICRA conference, researchers at Stanford University have reported on a perching system that allows their UAV to land on and take off from a wall. A paper and video shown at this year's ICRA conference show how a model airplane performs an aggressive pitch-up maneuver to reduce its speed and present its feet for landing on a wall. The attachment mechanism consists of a carbon-fiber and foam suspension system to absorb the shock of impact and a compliant spine release system that allows to detach the five spines per foot.
The current perching system opens the door for significantly extending the UAVs power autonomy by performing long-term surveillance tasks without the need to stay airborne and by potentially allowing a UAV to recharge its batteries using solar cells. The researchers are now working on combining their perching system with an ability to crawl and maneuver to reorient the plane on the wall after landing.