DTA

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Tesi etd-05192022-190641

Type of thesis
Corso Ordinario Secondo Livello
Author
GIRARDI, LUCA
URN
etd-05192022-190641
Title
Study of a Quadrotor Drone with Soft and Anisotropic Structural Elements
Structure
Cl. Sc. Sperimentali - Ingegneria
Course
INGEGNERIA - INGEGNERIA
Committee
Tutor Prof. RICOTTI, LEONARDO
Relatore Prof. Mintchev, Stefano
Presidente Prof. CIARAMELLA, ERNESTO
Membro Prof. ODDO, CALOGERO MARIA
Membro Prof.ssa MENCIASSI, ARIANNA
Membro Prof. CASTOLDI, PIERO
Keywords
  • Flexural Anisotropy
  • Flight Dynamics
  • Mechanical Vibrations
  • Morphing Drones
  • Soft Aerial Robotics
Exam session start date
20/06/2022;
Availability
parziale
Abstract
Multirotor drones with inherent structural flexibility can outperform state-of-the-art rigid drones in morphing capabilities and impact resilience. Yet, flexibility challenges the stability of flight with reduced authority on the drone geometry and introducing lower frequencies oscillation modes. We propose a novel design of a quadrotor drone that uses soft structural elements. The inherent flexibility of the links between the propellers and the main structure brings improved impact resilience, passive squeezing upon interaction with the environment, and unseen morphing patterns in aerial robotics. First, we outline the design approach that exploits the anisotropy of the frame's flexural modulus, essential to have the drone fly despite its high flexibility. Second, we model the drone dynamics accounting for the geometric changes due to the frame's flexibility. The model is a reference for the future development of geometry-aware control strategies. Third, with the help of finite-element (FE) tools, we model the mechanical vibrations of the drone to filter out the specific vibration eigenfrequencies that destabilize flight. Finally, we report preliminary flight test results to show that carefully designed, continuously deforming structural elements do not hamper the stability and controllability of flight of a quadrotor drone while carrying inherent impact resilience and passive morphing capabilities. We believe the proposed design and study of the quadrotor drone with soft structural elements serve as an exemplary design protocol for the design of soft drones at different scales that impact a broad spectrum of application fields.
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