A Quadrotor with a Passively Reconfigurable Airframe for Hybrid Terrestrial Locomotion

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4741-4751
Journal / PublicationIEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics
Issue number6
Online published22 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


Despite efforts to circumvent and alleviate the impact of a mid-flight collision, it remains extremely challenging to safeguard a multirotor vehicle when it operates in cluttered environments. In this work, we introduce a flying robot with the ability to roll through a gap narrower than its diameter to prevent a possible aerial collision entirely. The novelty of the proposed design lies in a simple passive mechanism that redirects the propelling thrust for the terrestrial operation without the need for extra actuators. As a result, the robot remains compact and lightweight. Furthermore, to overcome the underactuation associated with the passive structure, the transitions between flight and rolling are accomplished with a highly dynamic maneuver. In the experimental demonstration, the robot seamlessly switched between the aerial and terrestrial locomotion to safely negotiate a 10-cm opening.

Research Area(s)

  • Actuators, Aerial robots, collision avoidance, multimodal locomotion, passive mechanisms, Propellers, Robots, Strain, Torque, Vehicle dynamics