Watch the Sherbrooke’s Multimodal Autonomous Drone, S-MAD for short perform an autonomous landing manover that simulates real life nature. The S-MAD can also perform a vertical takeoff from the wall. Presented at Living Machines 2017, Stanford (Best Robotics Paper Award).
We present the first fixed-wing drone that autonomously perches and takes off from vertical surfaces. Inspired by birds, this airplane uses a thrust-assisted pitch-up maneuver to slow down rapidly before touchdown. Microspines are used to cling to rough walls, while strictly onboard sensing is used for control. The effect of thrust on the suspension’s landing envelope is analyzed and a simple vertical velocity controller is proposed to create smooth and robust descents towards a wall. Multiple landings are performed over a range of flight conditions.