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Nothing Can Keep This Drone Down

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A drone that can right itself.

A new drone uses elytra, a beetle-inspired set of wings, to right itself.

Credit: EPFL-LIS

Researchers at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland have developed a self-righting drone inspired by ladybugs.

The drone features artificial versions of the elytra (wings) that allow ladybugs to right themselves when they are knocked over.

The researchers mimicked this with their Micro Aerial Vehicles, with the self-righting force provided by actuators.

Said EPFL's Charalampos Vourtsis, "Similar to the insect, the artificial elytra feature degrees of freedom that allow them to reorient the vehicle if it flips over or lands upside down."

The researchers found that elytra length played a role in performance, with longer lengths producing higher success rates on all inclines and orientations tested (except for the steepest incline).

In tests on various terrains, the drones self-righted themselves perfectly, except on grass and fine sand.

From IEEE Spectrum
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Abstracts Copyright © 2021 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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