Rolling, Walking, Flying: The NVIDIA Jetson-Powered Morphbot from Caltech

The world of robotics never ceases to astonish, and NVIDIA's recent partnership with two innovative students from Caltech only serves to amplify this wonder. Their creation, the NVIDIA Jetson-powered Morphbot, is a novel blend of advanced robotics, aeronautics, and terrestrial maneuverability, promising significant applications in various fields.

At its core, the Morphbot's genius lies in its transformative abilities. This unique creation can:

1. Roll on four wheels.
2. Walk using a leg-swinging motion.
3. Transition into a drone.
4. Stand upright using the thrust from its rotors.
5. Duck down to navigate through tight spaces.

Each of these functionalities is backed by the power of NVIDIA's Jetson Nano, the engine running this multifaceted robot. Intriguingly, despite the Jetson Nano being the least potent in the NVIDIA Jetson line, it still boasts an impressive performance-to-cost ratio, with the developer kit priced at just $186.

NVIDIA Jetson-powered Morphbot - Application Potential

The Morphbot's diverse range of mobility methods allows it to access and navigate difficult terrains, making it an ideal tool for search and rescue operations, especially in collapsed buildings. With onboard recording technology and camera systems, this robot could potentially save lives during natural disasters by identifying survivors in debris-filled areas.

M4 Drives and Flies Around Caltech's Campus

Furthermore, its adaptability and the low cost of its core component (Jetson Nano) might eventually enable its use in places that currently can't afford advanced robotics, like the Boston Dynamic robot dogs.

In addition to terrestrial applications, there's also interplanetary potential. NASA's interest and funding indicate a possible future where we might see Morphbot exploring the vast terrains of Mars.

NVIDIA Jetson-powered Morphbot - Final Thoughts

The collaboration between NVIDIA and Caltech has borne fruit in the form of the Morphbot, an awe-inspiring advancement in robotics. Its ability to seamlessly transition between different modes of movement, combined with the power and affordability of the Jetson Nano, places it at the forefront of robotic innovation.

For enthusiasts eager to delve deeper, the original paper detailing the Morphbot's intricacies is available for free on The accompanying code for this robotic marvel is expected to be available under a free license, though this needs further confirmation.

Check out NVIDIA's blog for more insights and a video demonstrating Morphbot's capabilities.

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