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Design and Fabrication of Safe, Light-Weight, Flying Robots

[+] Author Affiliations
Yash Mulgaonkar, Terry Kientz, Mickey Whitzer, Vijay Kumar

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Paper No. DETC2015-47864, pp. V05BT08A021; 8 pages
  • ASME 2015 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 5B: 39th Mechanisms and Robotics Conference
  • Boston, Massachusetts, USA, August 2–5, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5713-7
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


This work presents the design, fabrication, and testing of a novel lightweight yet sturdy cage for micro aerial vehicles. Fabricated from a polymer infused 12k carbon-fiber using a smart liquid silicone rubber (LSR) molding process, the cage weighs only 3g and is capable of sustaining impacts at speeds up to 6m/s. We also quantitatively and qualitatively characterize the rigidity and stiffness of the cage using a universal testing machine.

This paper subsequently describes the fabrication methodology employed for designing the cage to achieve the high strength-weight ratio. This involves 3D printing, silicon rubber molding, plaster mold rotocasting, wet layup of carbon fiber and finally autoclaving. Finally we demonstrate a 23g autonomous, pico quadrotor capable of sustaining stable flight with collisions with the environment.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME



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