Computational Multicopter Design

Tao Du1 Adriana Schulz1 Bo Zhu1 Bernd Bickel2 Wojciech Matusik1

1MIT CSAIL 2IST Austria

Abstract

We present an interactive system for computational design, optimization, and fabrication of multicopters. Our computational approach allows non-experts to design, explore, and evaluate a wide range of different multicopters. We provide users with an intuitive interface for assembling a multicopter from a collection of components (e.g., propellers, motors, and carbon fiber rods). Our algorithm interactively optimizes shape and controller parameters of the current design to ensure its proper operation. In addition, we allow incorporating a variety of other metrics (such as payload, battery usage, size, and cost) into the design process and exploring tradeoffs between them. We show the efficacy of our method and system by designing, optimizing, fabricating, and operating multicopters with complex geometries and propeller configurations. We also demonstrate the ability of our optimization algorithm to improve the multicopter performance under different metrics.


Video


Paper

[paper] [supplement]

Code

Our source code is available on GitHub under the GNU General Public License v2.

Citation

@article{du2016computational,
  title={Computational multicopter design},
  author={Du, Tao and Schulz, Adriana and Zhu, Bo and Bickel, Bernd and Matusik, Wojciech},
  journal={ACM Transactions on Graphics (TOG)},
  volume={35},
  number={6},
  pages={227},
  year={2016},
  publisher={ACM}
}