MM: Tarzan The Swinging Robot; Meet The Multimobby

In this Manufacturing Minute episode, an electric transport vehicle for people with reduced mobility and Tarzan the robot.

Airport Transporter

Currently there is a push to find new ways to move the billions of people on Earth around more efficiently, from flying cars and hoverboards to ridged airships and hyperloop tubes. Now add to the list, the Multimobby 360 electric concept that can whisk up to seven people around an airport. 

The Multimobby was designed by Studio Rotor for the Dutch company Special Mobility — which specializes in solutions for individuals with reduced mobility in public spaces. The concept has a low entry threshold, onboard sensors that help avoid obstacles and avert collisions, and is capable of 360 degree on-the-spot turning. The transporter will also adapt its speed in correlation to how busy the airport or area is. 

All doors on the mover have sensors that will stop the Multimobby immediately if opened during operation. Without closing the doors the concept cannot drive. The vehicle also has an optional swing-up luggage rack at the back and can attach a Mobby transport wheelchair. The three-meter long vehicle increases transportation capacity by 40 percent over traditional golf carts and prototypes are currently being tested in Brussels and London. 


Do you think this concept will help move people more efficiently? What issues could you foresee with such a system? Tell us what you think by leaving your comments below. 

Tarzan The Robot

Keeping a close eye on the health of individual plants in a whole field, can be a time consuming task. That’s where a little robotic assistance could come in handy. 

Georgia Tech University engineers have developed a two-armed robot, named Tarzan, that will help farmers and researchers monitor crops. Other incarnations of plant inspecting robots have wheels which means they can tip over or get stuck. That’s where Tarzan is different.

As its name suggests, Tarzan is designed to swing above a row of crops by a tightly-strung guy wire. As it moves down the row, the bot takes photos and send the images back to researchers for analysis to see if any of the plants are showing signs of dehydration or disease. At the end of the row, Tarzan swings on to the next wire and repeats the process.

Although named after Tarzan of the Apes, the robot was actually inspired by the energy-efficient sloth. The bot was designed to be very energy efficient and may ultimately be purely solar powered. Researchers say theoretically, Tarzan could be out in the field — swinging along, taking pictures — for months at a time.


Do you think the Tarzan robot would be an effective tool in agriculture? In what other applications could this technology be utilized? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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