A drone for aerial transport of heavy poles.
Today’s aerial transportation is done by helicopters, to which the cargo is attached by ropes. This operation can be very dangerous for people on the ground, who are often needed to guide the swinging load to its final position.
We believe, that in the future such dangerous tasks will be done safely without human interaction by using a drone. This drone will be autonomous and capable of picking and placing a load by rigidly connecting to it.
With our focus project we aim to explore the future of aerial transportation, by implementing a novel approach to drone design. In a first iteration the drone will be optimized for grasping and precisely positioning long vertical payloads like masts or poles, which pose a particular challenge for such a system. Later, we plan to extend the drone’s transportation capabilities to many different shapes.
Our Project is hosted by the Autonomous Systems Lab and supervised by Prof. Dr. Roland Siegwart.
As a first prototype we developed Atlas, to prove the concept of our perpendicular propeller setup and learn valuable lessons to later improved while developing Boreas. Atlas will not be able to lift any loads, but it was built merely as our first testing platform. We built it out of easily accessible and cheap materials, like aluminum and wood. In March we successfully flew with Atlas for the first time, which was a big achievement for us. Through a lot of testing, we were able to improve the Atlas flight stability and accuracy to ± 2 centimeters.
Boreas is our second prototype and will be able to lift and place poles with a weight of up to three kilograms. Like Atlas, Boreas has a perpendicular propeller setup with four thrust props and four auxiliary ones. In a demonstration, we want to showcase Boreas capabilities by stacking two poles on top of each other. For updates on our progress please follow us on Instagram or LinkedIn…
We are a team of eight highly motivated engineering students in their final bachelor’s year, supported by coaches from the Autonomous Systems Lab at ETH Zurich and supervised by Prof. Dr. Roland Siegwart.
Resources, both monetary and physical, are essential for any successful product development. The following companies have helped us:
If you have any questions or would like to support us, don’t hesitate to contact us!