Small Vehicles Self-Assemble To Create A Powerful Aircraft
A new multi-propeller flight platform proves that the sum is always greater than its parts.
Researchers at the ETH Zurichâ€™s Institute for Dynamics Systems and Control have developed the “Distributed Flight Array”, a flying platform consisting of multiple autonomous single propeller vehicles that are able to dock with one another to create a larger and more powerful aircraft. The individual vehicles of the DFA have their own propellers to lift them into the air, but have an uncontrolled and erratic flight pattern . However, these vehicles can join together to become a larger flight platform capable of maintaining a coordinated flight by sharing data to determine how much thrust is needed for the DFA to take-off. If its leveled flight is disturbed, each vehicle individually determines the thrust required to correct for the disturbance and compensates accordingly to bring the Distributed Flight Array back into balance.
Watch a demo below: