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.

Small Individual Vehicles Self-Assemble To Create A Powerful Aircraft 2

Researchers at the ETH Zurich’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:



Distributed Flight Array

[via Popsci]

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