|A New Type Of Drone|
|Written by Harry Fairhead|
|Saturday, 14 July 2018|
We are well beyond peak drone - to be more accurate beyond peak drone videos. There doesn't seem much left to do but find applications. A tricopter is a bit special and interesting to watch.
We are all fairly used to quadrotor-based drones. They work by varying the lift on each of the rotors a to tilt the drone in the direction that you want it to move in. This means that direction of motion and yaw and pitch aren't decoupled. This isn't usually a problem if all you are interested in is a delivery drone where tilting on the body is irrelevant. It becomes more important if you are using a drone to capture aerial video because the video platform has to tilt to move. Usually you need to use a "steady cam" type of mount to keep the camera level.
A tricopter is different. It has only three rotors but each rotor can be twisted to direct the thrust:
This arrangment provides six actuators for the six degrees of freedom that the drone has - hence it is said to be fully actuated unlike a standard quadcopter.
So what does this allow the tricopter to do - take a look at the video of the project from the Lehrstuhl für Systemtheorie und Regelungstechnik at the University of Saarland to find out:
The stability is impressive and the ability to move without tilting looks very sci-fi. However there is a serious ascpect to this fun project. Given the increased control it is possible to use tricopters to move large extended objects while keeping things stable.
Take a look at the next video and notice the movement in the tricopter as the result of the swinging rope:
It does look as if the tricopter is a better design and the simplicity of the additional controls and the loss of one rotor makes it an economical design.
If you need a stable platform or a stable way of moving things then it is a good idea. I'd like to see how they perform in a windy environment.
Control of tricopters cooperating to transport a load via ropes.
J. Rudolph and M. Konz Saarland University
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|Last Updated ( Sunday, 25 July 2021 )|