Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Distributed Flight Array

A short video which introduces the Distributed Flight Array which is being developed at ETH Zurich. This multi-propeller platform consists of autonomous single-propeller modules that are able to drive, dock with their peers, and fly in a coordinated fashion. These modules are organized as distributed computational units with minimal sensory input. This is a complex system that is rich in dynamics with much room to explore various strategies of distributed estimation and control. Several demonstrations in docking, driving, and flight have proven its feasibility. The work shown here was completed by the 2008/9 AYIM class (http://www.andyetitmoves.org/). For more information, visit: http://www.idsc.ethz.ch/

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Let's dance!

Our first dance performance :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Some flips..

We like flips. We *really* like flips. But then again, who doesn't??

We started with sluggishly slow 300 deg/s flips back in Nov '08:

... some months later we found ourselves flipping a bit faster, at 840 deg/s:

... which we rigged up to be controlled with a 'wand':

...double flips, this time at 1000 deg/s:

... and, finally, 1300 deg/s triple flips (that learn from iteration to iteration!)

More to come!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Blind Juggler

How hard would it be to juggle a ball if you couldn’t see it or feel it? Put on a pair of gloves and try it with your eyes closed: it’s no easy task!

The Blind Juggler is a robot that can keep a ball bouncing on a paddle without any sensory input. That is, it does not use cameras, microphones, or any other sensors that tell the robot where the ball is.

For more information about the Blind Juggler and how it works visit the Blind Juggler research page.

Flying Machine Arena

We learn best through direct experience because there are real limits to our ability to process complex instructions.

The Flying Machine Arena is a research-driven airspace where vehicles teach themselves – and each other – how to fly.

For more information about the Flying Machine Arena and how it works visit the Flying Machine Arena research page.

Balancing Cube

The Balancing Cube can balance on any one of its edges or corners. Six rotating mechanisms on the inner faces of the cube coordinate with each other to achieve equilibrium for the overall system.

The balancing mechanisms respond in real time: when a viewer stands the cube on one of its corners and lets it go – or even pushes it – the cube is able to recover and stabilize. The balancing mechanisms are in­dependent of the cube’s structure, and can be arranged into other “balancing” shapes, such as a wedge or a tetrahedron.

For more information about the Balancing Cube and how it works visit the Balancing Cube research page.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Distributed Flight Array

We’ve all heard the expression: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Alone, these vehicles can drive about on the ground, but it is not until they come together that they are able to fly.

The individual vehicles of the Distributed Flight Array have fixed propellers that can lift them into the air, but the resulting flight is erratic and uncontrolled. Joined together, however, these relatively simple components evolve into a sophisticated multi-propeller system capable of coordinated flight.

For more information about the Distributed Flight Array and how it works visit the Distributed Flight Array research page.