Multimodal Locomotion: Next Generation Aerial–Terrestrial Mobile Robotics

Jane Pauline Ramirez, Salua Hamaza*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Mobile robots have revolutionized the public and private sectors for transportation, exploration, and search and rescue. Efficient energy consumption and robust environmental interaction needed for complex tasks can be achieved in aerial–terrestrial robots by combining advantages of each locomotion mode. This review surveys over two decades of development in multimodal robots that move on the ground and in air. Multimodality can be achieved by leveraging three main design approaches: adding morphological features, adapting forms for locomotion transitions, and integrating multiple vehicle platforms. Each classification is thoroughly examined and synthesized, encompassing both qualitative and quantitative aspects. The authors delved into the intricacies of these approaches and explored the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in pursuit of the next generation of mobile robots. This review aims to advance future deployment of multimodal robots in the real world for challenging operations in dangerous, unstructured, contact-prone, cluttered and subterranean environments.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalAdvanced Intelligent Systems
Publication statusPublished - 2023


This research is funded by the Delft University of Technology.


  • aerial–terrestrial locomotion
  • embodied intelligence
  • multifunctional aerial robots
  • multimodal robots


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