Check Out Voliro – The Omni-Directional Drone
” Last month, we wrote about ETH Zurich’s Omnicopter, a flying cube with rotors providing thrust in lots of different directions that allow the drone to translate and rotate arbitrarily. This is very handy, for lots of different reasons, but the Omnicopter itself is rather bulky and seems destined to live out its life in a Swiss laboratory.
A team of undergrads at ETH Zurich has taken the idea behind the Omnicopter and designed an even more versatile flying robot. Voliro offers the same kind of decoupled position and attitude control, except that instead of a cube full of rotors oriented in different directions, this drone uses rotating nacelles that can turn it from a traditional hexcopter into something much more versatile and acrobatic.”
” Voliro is part of a focus project at ETH Zurich’s Autonomous Systems Lab that’s intended to give students in the last year of their undergraduate degrees “the opportunity to design a complete system from scratch,” which seems like a fantastic way of making the transition into graduate school with some practical robotics experience.
From what we understand, Voliro is unique in that it’s trying to achieve a lot more than both full position and attitude control: The goal is to create an “amphibious robot” that can “fly, swim, and drive on the ground.” It’s not clear how the swimming bit is going to work, but the Voliro website is specific about a bunch of future improvements, including using three of the tilted rotor units as landing gear, and adding “a large sphere in the center of Voliro to make it roll omnidirectionally on the ground.””