Instructables user Brian Ward posted this how-to for building a wooden storage and transport case for quadrotors. Inspiration for this project came from a falling box that broke the frame of his his own hand-built copter. He used Autodesk Inventor to design the case and a ShopBot CNC router to cut the pieces out of 3/4″ plywood. One commenter suggests making the box bigger so that the rotor blades can turn while inside the case and rigging up the doors to spring open so that the copter can fly right out of the box. For version 2, perhaps? [via Adafruit]
Check out this incredible scale model of Doc Brown’s DeLorean from Back to the Future. What sets it apart from other scale models isn’t the awesome lighting or attention to detail (Mr. Fusion, anyone?), it’s that it’s a fully-functioning quadrotor. Yep, it flies! Built using foam core and a ton of LEDs, this has to be one of the cooler RC models I’ve come across in a long time. For a certain audience it truly is a flying time machine. [via Technabob]
A group of UPenn Engineering students have taken several quadrotors and turned them into robotic musicians. We’ve seen the great swarming abilities of these machines recently, but now using various instruments and noisemakers, these aerial drones manage to plunk out a fairly convincing version of the “James Bond” theme.
The students who created this piece have started their own company, KMel Robotics, from which I’m sure we’ll see (and hear) more innovation by these tiny UAVs.
It used to be that having your own quadrotor drone was cutting edge. Now that the average Joe can pick one up at his local mall for a couple hundred bucks, you’ve got to step up your game if you don’t want to be seen as pedestrian. That’s why today’s aspiring UAV enthusiasts are working with swarms. Not just any swarms either, but swarms of nano-quadrotors. These days, budget conscious drone makers are going small to cut costs and shed ounces.
Check out this mesmerizing display of synchronized aerial acrobatics using miniature quadrotors from the folks at University of Pennsylvania’s GRASP Lab. Alex Kushleyev, Daniel Mellinger, and Vijay Kumar put the swarm of self-righting KMel nano-quadrotors through a series of tests to demonstrate software capable of performing intricate 3D formations. [via technobob]
In 2011, Gramazio & Kohler and Raffaello D’Andrea launched a pioneering project around training dynamic and robotic procedures applied to architecture. Belonging to the younger generation of architects exploiting the digital tools in the architectural design and construction, Gramazio & Kohler join the engineer Raffaello D’Andrea, whose work concerns the study of algorithms and development of systems autonomous innovation. Together, they hired Flight Assembled Architecture, an architectural research on the potential of a revolutionary assembly tool, revealing joint spatial and material previously unpublished.
Flight Assembled Architecture is the first installation entirely by flying robots. Designed as an architectural structure on the scale of a “vertical village” of 600 meters, Assembled Architecture Flight testing a new paradigm of design and manufacturing, through a physical process of automated dynamic training. This project builds on the simultaneous use of multiple mobile agents. Considered as tools for adaptive production, these flying robots are programmed to interact and to capture, transport and assemble the modules to build architectural structures. They synthesize and the pragmatism of Gramazio & Kohler Architecture and visionary approach to Raffaello D’Andrea in engineering dynamics. The FRAC Centre supports this new project, which will then in its collections devoted to experimental architecture. This collaborative project will be exposed only to the FRAC Centre in Orléans.
After an initial phase of several days devoted to assembly and assembly by robots flying a model of 6 m high and 3.5 m in diameter – made of polystyrene foam modules 1500 prefabricated – the exhibition will the “megastructure” in its final form, and a film performance and restoring the entire design process.
What does every Quadrotor enthusiast look for in a landing platform? If you guessed swarming robots, pat yourself on the back. Yes, as if taking off and landing weren’t hard enough, now you’ve got to wait for your landing surface to assemble itself. Luckily the folks at Georgia Robots and Intelligent Systems Lab are hard at work perfecting the process. [via GeekyGadgets]
In the last couple of years quadrotors have become a leading platform for aerial robotics. Precision control, maneuverability, and the ability to pack on a payload make quadrotors the goto choice when designing an aerial robot.
We’ve been highlighting a lot of the amazing stunts that are performed with quadrotors lately; it practically seems like these little buzzing aircraft are infallible superstars. Well, if you’re sick of them acting like the BMOC and want to see them taken down a peg, this video from UPenn’s GRASP laboratory won’t disappoint. [via Adafruit]
The University of Pennsylvania’s GRASP Lab, famous for those crazy quadrotors that can fly through windows and hula hoops, has been working on getting groups of the robots to fly together in formation. Just like with a formation of fighter jets, there’s a leader robot in each squad along with several follower robots. The followers have just two jobs: follow the leader, and preserve the shape of the formation.
They call it “juggling,” which, I must say, in deference to all the jugglers out there: it ain’t. But “catch” is still an extremely impressive addition to the extremely impressive list of extremely impressive stunts which quadrotor UAVs have been pulling off recently. Filmed at the Flying Machine Arena research facility at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, in Zurich. [via adafruit]
Man, and I thought the hacks on the Wii sensor bar came fast and furious. Amazing what people are doing with the Xbox Kinect and how viral all of these hacks quickly become. This one, an autonomous quadrotor, uses the Kinect Sensor for navigation and obstacle avoidance. It was done as part of the STARMAC Project in the Hybrid Systems Lab at UC Berkeley (EECS department). [Thanks, Blake!]