This year, the 2021 International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2021) took place from May 30th to June 5th in Xi’an, China. The paper, Soft Hybrid Aerial Vehicle Via Bistable Mechanism, written by Xuan Li, Jessica McWilliams, Minchen Li, Cynthia Sung and Chenfanfu Jiang recently won Best Paper Award on Mechanisms and Design. Among the authors are Chenfanfu Jiang, assistant professor, Minchen Li, assistant adjunct professor and Xuan Li, a graduate student in the UCLA Department of Mathematics.
“This paper presents a novel morphing hybrid aerial vehicle with folding wings that exhibits both a quadrotor and a fixed wing mode without requiring any extra actuation by leveraging the motion of a bistable mechanism at the center of the aircraft. A topology optimization method is developed to optimize the bistable mechanism and the folding wing. This work is an important contribution to design of hybrid aerial vehicles.”
Below is a YouTube video explaining their research further.