Acrobatic quadrotors play catch with sticks

(Credit: ETH Zurich)

Can you toss a pole by its tip and catch it by the other end? These flying quadrotors can.

Researchers at ETH Zurich posted a video showing two quads tossing a pole in midair.

Dario Brescianini and colleagues at ETH Zurich’s Flying Machine Arena developed algorithms for the game based on a 2D mathematical model of the ideal trajectory.

To test the model, the machines were fitted with 4.7-inch circular plates that they used to both throw and catch the pole, which was fitted with flour-filled balloons at the tips to act as shock absorbers.

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The startling stunt is seen in the vid below. The quadrotors pull it off nicely, even when one of the balloons blows up at 1:34.

Interestingly, one of the… [Read more]

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