A Shape-Changing Autonomous Quadrocopter That Can Fly Through Tight Spaces

December 19, 2018

This is a video demonstration of a fully autonomous morphing quadrocopter that can change its shape on the fly in order to fit through narrow vertical and horizon gaps, inspect things up close and personal, and carry different objects. Some more info while I see if there are any robot apocalypse bunker builders willing to work over the holidays:

In this work, we propose a novel, simpler, yet effective morphing design for quadrotors consisting of a frame with four independently rotating arms that fold around the main frame. To guarantee stable flight at all times, we exploit an optimal control strategy that adapts on the fly to the drone morphology. We demonstrate the versatility of the proposed adaptive morphology in different tasks, such as negotiation of narrow gaps, close inspection of vertical surfaces, and object grasping and transportation. The experiments are performed on an actual, fully autonomous quadrotor relying solely on onboard visual-inertial sensors and compute. No external motion tracking systems and computers are used. This is the first work showing stable flight without requiring any symmetry of the morphology.

Obviously, if you were wondering where a safe spot to hide from killer robots is, the answer is fewer and fewer places. You think we'll even live to see 2020? *shaking Magic 8-Ball* Oh boy, this isn't good -- it didn't even give me an answer. "That's because it's a coconut." Hoho, so it is. Pina colada anyone?

Keep going for the full narrated video.

Thanks again to K Diddie, who's clearly going for a tip trifecta today.

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