An Autonomous Omnicopter That Can Play Catch

January 9, 2018

Cool but next time throw it like a baseball.

This is a video of the Fetching Omnicoper, an "omni-directional eight-rotor vehicle" that can predict the flight path of a ball and catch it in a little net. The copter has a "unique actuator configuration that gives it full force and torque authority in all three dimensions." Damn, I wish I had some torque authority. Or any kind of authority. You there, stop! Hey! What the -- he just spit at me! Dad, come back.

We have developed a computationally efficient trajectory generator for six degrees-of-freedom multirotor vehicles, i.e. vehicles that can independently control their position and attitude. The trajectory generator is capable of generating approximately 500,000 trajectories per second that guide the multirotor vehicle from any initial state, i.e. position, velocity and attitude, to any desired final state in a given time. In this video, we show an example application that requires the evaluation of a large number of trajectories in real time.

Obviously, if you're like me and your friend-meter is currently hovering around zero, this is the perfect copter for playing catch. Who needs human friends anyways, right? All they're gonna do is backstab you and steal your girlfriend anyways. "Sounds like you've been burned before." I have been -- badly. "What happened?" I tried to shoot a mortar firework up the chimney.

Keep going for the video.

Thanks again to Rob, who agrees you don't even need a friend to play catch if you've got a nice flat wall to throw against.

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