Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

The Foldable Drone: A Morphing Quadrotor That Can Squeeze and Fly


Falanga, Davide; Kleber, Kevin; Mintchev, Stefano; Floreano, Dario; Scaramuzza, Davide (2019). The Foldable Drone: A Morphing Quadrotor That Can Squeeze and Fly. IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, 4(2):209-216.

Abstract

The recent advances in state estimation, perception, and navigation algorithms have significantly contributed to the ubiquitous use of quadrotors for inspection, mapping, and aerial imaging. To further increase the versatility of quadrotors, recent works investigated the use of an adaptive morphology, which consists of modifying the shape of the vehicle during flight to suit a specific task or environment. However, these works either increase the complexity of the platform or decrease its controllability. In this letter, 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.

Abstract

The recent advances in state estimation, perception, and navigation algorithms have significantly contributed to the ubiquitous use of quadrotors for inspection, mapping, and aerial imaging. To further increase the versatility of quadrotors, recent works investigated the use of an adaptive morphology, which consists of modifying the shape of the vehicle during flight to suit a specific task or environment. However, these works either increase the complexity of the platform or decrease its controllability. In this letter, 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.

Statistics

Citations

Dimensions.ai Metrics
146 citations in Web of Science®
172 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

33 downloads since deposited on 27 Jan 2021
6 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Informatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Control and Systems Engineering
Physical Sciences > Biomedical Engineering
Physical Sciences > Human-Computer Interaction
Physical Sciences > Mechanical Engineering
Physical Sciences > Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
Physical Sciences > Computer Science Applications
Physical Sciences > Control and Optimization
Physical Sciences > Artificial Intelligence
Scope:Discipline-based scholarship (basic research)
Language:English
Date:2019
Deposited On:27 Jan 2021 14:30
Last Modified:25 May 2024 01:44
Publisher:Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
ISSN:2377-3766
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1109/LRA.2018.2885575
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:18854
  • Content: Accepted Version