Issue 41 Unmanned Systems Technology December/January 2022 PteroDynamics X-P4 l Sense & avoid l 4Front Robotics Cricket l Autonomous transport l NWFC-1500 fuel cell l DroneX report l OceanScout I Composites I DSEI 2021 report

46 R obotic vehicles with wheels, tracks or legs offer unique means of locomotion suited to different types of terrain and situations, which raises the question of what combining them might achieve. Attempts to answer that have spawned hybrid robots with multiple styles of locomotion, including walking, climbing, crawling and leaping, in addition to rolling on wheels or tracks. With four multi-jointed legs sporting powered articulation and ending in rubber tracks, the Cricket is the brainchild of Dr Alejandro ‘Alex’ Ramirez-Serrano from the Robotarium Lab at the University of Calgary’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, in Canada. He is also president of 4Front Robotics, which provides UGV and UAV systems designed to operate in chaotic and highly confined spaces such as those inside collapsed buildings or burning infrastructure. Although Dr Ramirez-Serrano founded both the lab and the company, he emphasises that they are kept separate and have different roles. “Work at the university is focused mostly on basic research; 4Front Robotics applies itself more to taking proof-of-concept work from academia and developing it further – and on many occasions completely reformulating concepts – for practical applications.” The Cricket is also intended to be a focus for developing robotic tools for Designing this UGV with jointed legs ending in rubber tracks gives it an edge for working in hazardous and confined spaces. Peter Donaldson reports Articulate account December/January 2022 | Unmanned Systems Technology