FURI | Fall 2022

A Soft Drone for Whole Body Perching

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With limitations of the pneumatic bending actuator on slow activation time and limited rigidity for housing motors, we proposed a design modification on the drone arms to include bistable materials along with the fabric-based actuators from our previous design. The bistable material was assembled with the fabric-based actuators using additive manufacturing methods, which also helps create a rigid skeleton-like structure for the motor housing. This proposed design notably decreased the pressure requirement for the actuation from 20 psi to 10 psi for the activation task (perching/grasping). The result is a compliant whole-body perching drone with significantly improved compliance, and robust to uncertainties about the target location such as the size and shape of the object.

Student researcher

Hatvi Thakkar

Mechanical engineering

Hometown: Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

Graduation date: Fall 2022