Revolute Robotics’ Hybrid Mobility Robot Under Development which Operates as Both a Drone and Rover

by | Jul 20, 2023 | General News, Industrial

Revolute Robotics a Phoenix-based robotics company is in the prototype phase of developing its Hybrid Mobility Robot (HMR) which operates both in the air as a drone and on the ground as a rover.

In recent years, traditional robots like drones and rovers have gained popularity for commercial use, but their limitations hinder their adoption in critical areas. While indoor drones exhibit robust mobility in confined spaces, their heavier weights and shorter flight times limit their use to smaller areas. Conversely, rovers have long operating times and high payload capacities, but their lack of mobility around obstacles and challenging terrain restricts them to mostly flat surfaces. In response to these challenges, Revolute Robotics embarked on a mission to create a robot that combines the aerial mobility of drones with the extended operating time of rovers, enabling it to safely fly in confined spaces and roll on the ground for an extended period.

After two years of effort and over two dozen prototypes later, the company is now conducting tests with alpha users, has a pending international patent, and recently held its first live demo with over 90 attendees. The impact of this innovation can be significant, particularly in confined space inspections that often last weeks, cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and pose severe risks to human inspectors, such as suffocation, falls from heights, exposure to toxic chemicals, and being trapped by debris. Regular inspections are essential to prevent costly equipment failures in places like oil refineries, power plants, chemical factories, and more. Inspection robots have gained popularity due to their ability to perform inspections from a safe distance and in a fraction of the time, but existing solutions’ poor mobility and low operating time limit their effectiveness to smaller and less complex inspections.

Revolute Robotics’ Hybrid Mobility Robot (HMR) addresses these limitations by offering both ground and aerial mobility. With this versatility, the HMR can inspect larger assets for extended periods without fear of running out of battery or encountering insurmountable obstacles. This capability allows inspectors to reduce inspection time and costs by over a reported 95% without compromising safety.

The team behind Revolute Robotics is led by CEO Collin Taylor, a professional with eight years in the commercial drone industry. Additionally, Dr. Sahand Sabet, with experience in robotics modeling who previously worked for NASA JPL on hybrid aerial/terrestrial robots, spearheaded the technology’s development through four years of research.

Initially focusing on Confined Space Inspections, they plan to collaborate directly with inspection companies servicing various industries, including Oil & Gas, Power, Chemicals, Mining, and Utilities. The company’s core technology can be applied across multiple markets, saving it from the complexity and overhead associated with serving each market separately.

Revolute Robotics intends to offer two purchasing options: direct product sales with an optional subscription for data analysis and a Robot-as-a-Service (RaaS) model. The RaaS model enables customers to expense the hardware and software over time, leading to a faster sales cycle and more predictable recurring revenue.

Beyond their initial target market, they reportedly envision their robots redefining how robots are used in everyday life, aiming to keep humans out of harm’s way. The company has witnessed success with its alpha users, and their technology is particularly in demand in the inspection, security, and defense industries.

For more information on Revolutes’ HMR or should you wish to become an investor in the project, please check out their StartEngine page.

by: Jill Madison

by: Jill Madison

Raised in New York City by parents who are electrical engineers, Jill was easy prey for entry into the field of electrical engineering, where she worked on designing engine control systems for a number of large auto manufacturers. She developed an "interest" in robotics during this period of time and decided to fuel her interest by reporting on the topic.

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