UPenn's quadcopters are learning new tricks. We were impressed last month when video emerged of the autonomous 'copters ducking through very tight spaces with startling agility. Now, the GRASP Lab's tiny aircraft have learned to work in teams to lift heavy payloads with surprising grace.
The team at UPenn devised a claw-like gripper that allows the quadcopters to grab onto flat surfaces and carry objects aloft. But the diminutive aircraft don't possess a whole lot of upward thrust, so to lift heavier objects the team introduced some team spirit to their software. A dose of cooperative logic allows two or more quadcopters to collaborate on the same task, lifting heavier payloads while maintaining impeccable balance. They can even carry the payload around without listing to one side or the other.
The degree of control and agility these things show is pretty amazing, and you can see it for yourself in the video below. Personally, we'd like to see the GRASP Lab put their quadcopters through the Tempur-Pedic test -- one glass of red wine riding atop those two-by-fours, four quadcopters, no spillage. By all appearances, it seems like they could do it. What's up, UPenn, feeling up to the challenge?
next step: voltron
And it begins!
it totally want a couple of those!!!
I would like to see them lift a "slosh pipe", a sealed tube that is about half filled with water. If the slosh pipe is not level, water rushes to the low end and makes the problem even worse. Seems like lifting that would be a fantastic challenge.
I want to make one to sense and retrieve my tv remote and or tools from the tool box on command.
I would love to see supersize versions of this, with at least 4, 5 foot diameter props. that would be a real amazing machine. The civilian and battlefront capabilities could be huge. Especially in high sensitivity/ high danger transport operations where ammo/supplies could be quickly moved without possibility of human casualties. Or be used to carry combat wounded away for quick treatment.
Alkyar 07/13/10 at 2:41 pm
"I want to make one to sense and retrieve my tv remote ..."
And you would control this with a remote... ;-))