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A Drone with Insect-Inspired Folding Wings

  • Authors: Dufour, Louis; Owen, Kevin; Mintchev, Stefano; Floreano, Dario

Flying robots are increasingly adopted in search and rescue missions because of their capability to quickly collect and stream information from remote and dangerous areas. To further enhance their use, we are investigating the development of a new class of drones, foldable sensorized hubs that can quickly take off from rescuers’ hands as soon as they are taken out of a pocket or a backpack. With this aim, this paper presents the development of a foldable wing inspired by insects. The wing can be packaged for transportation or deployed for flight in half a second with a simple action from the user. The wing is manufactured as a thick origami structure with a foldable multi-layer material. The prototype of the foldable wing is experimentally characterized and validated in flight on a mini-drone.

Posted on: September 14, 2016