Hook and Loop Aiding the Development of Robotics Interfaces

The essential principles behind hook and loop fasteners may be straightforward, but these minimalist devices nonetheless play valuable roles alongside advanced modern technology. According to reports from Ars Technica and other sources, a professor and his research group at the University of Pennsylvania used hook and loop straps to enhance a basic quadcopter system with advanced computing capabilities.

By affixing Google's Project Tango device to the quadcopter with these straps, the research team was able to create a completely self-contained autonomous drone. It is even more notable that because they could attach such a powerful computing system to the device, the need for special position markers or other complicated support frameworks was eliminated.

While the team's choice of computing hardware undoubtedly contributed to the project's success, the simplicity of hook and loop fasteners also fulfilled an integral function. Quadrotor devices are limited by the weight of the payloads they can lift and still maintain maneuverability. At this early experimental stage, researchers are still searching for the most optimal technological combinations; being able to switch modules and sensors out rapidly contributes to developmental progress. Furthermore, hook and loop fasteners can attach relatively hefty payloads to robot chassis without increasing total weight as much as bolts and other mechanical fasteners would. This benefit alone may soon make hook and loop fasteners the standard in customizable experimental robotics.


Slava Yurthev Copyright