A small hybrid ground-air vehicle concept

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

32 Scopus citations


Small robots benefit from the ability to go places where humans cannot and are attractive for numerous practical reasons such as portability and manufacturing simplicity. However, with smaller scale comes more difficulty traversing rough terrain, especially for robots which use wheel-based locomotion. Previous approaches to overcome this drawback have included auxiliary mechanisms such as jumping, transformations of the robot or its appendages, and alternative forms of locomotion such as aerial flight capability. This paper presents a small scale robot that is capable of both ground travel and aerial flight. In combination, these methods of locomotion allow for efficient ground-based movement as well as the ability to overcome obstacles and explore otherwise unreachable locations through air travel. The novel aspect of the robot design is a transformation between ground and air configurations. This feature offers advantages over previous approaches such as a highly compact ground configuration and protection of delicate flight hardware when not in use. In this paper, the robot concept is compared to other approaches to address ground robot mobility drawbacks. This is followed by a detailed design description with a focus on the transformation between the ground and air modes. Lastly, a fully functional prototype is presented which is capable of ground and air locomotion and the transformation between these configurations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIROS 2017 - IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781538626825
StatePublished - Dec 13 2017
Event2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2017 - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: Sep 24 2017Sep 28 2017

Publication series

NameIEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
ISSN (Print)2153-0858
ISSN (Electronic)2153-0866


Other2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 IEEE.


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