A Quadrotor With an Origami-Inspired Protective Mechanism

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3820-3827
Journal / PublicationIEEE Robotics and Automation Letters
Issue number4
Online published22 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


Despite advances in localization and navigation, aerial robots inevitably remain susceptible to accidents and collisions. In this letter, we propose a passive foldable airframe as a protective mechanism for a small aerial robot. A foldable quadrotor is designed and fabricated using the origami-inspired manufacturing paradigm. Upon an accidental mid-flight collision, the deformable airframe is mechanically activated. The rigid frame reconfigures its structure to protect the central part of the robot that houses sensitive components from a crash to the ground. The proposed robot is fabricated, modeled, and characterized. The 51-g vehicle demonstrates the desired folding sequence in less than 0.15 s when colliding with a wall when flying.

Research Area(s)

  • Aerial systems: mechanics and control, mechanism design, biologically-inspired robots, INSECT, ROBUST