In the past few years, we have covered a whole host of flying robots that can self-assemble mid-air. The problem with ModQuad was the inability of the drones to disassemble once connected. Vijay Kumar’s latest video shows how inflight self-disassembly can be pulled of.
This is a modular design based on a quadcopter with a passive mechanism for docking and undocking in midair. As the researchers explain:
Using this mechanism and a control strategy, we can divide a rectangular structure into two sub-structures during flight. The undocking action can be sequentially applied to disassemble structures into individual modules.
This approach makes aerial self-reconfiguration possible for drones.