Author

Erik Elbieh

Date of Award

2015

First Advisor

Michael Bergman

Second Advisor

Aaron Williams

Abstract

This thesis describes the design and construction of a quadcopter constrained within a spherical cage with 3 degrees of rotational freedom. The goal of this new vehicle is to build a more efficient electric quadcopter by rolling instead of flying when the terrain permits. In addition, the spherical cage serves as protection against any collisions, allowing this vehicle to be used indoors and in crowded environments. This vehicle differs from any prior work by using a spherical wooden cage and a quadcopter with excess lifting capacity. The quadcopter is custom-built and uses the OpenPilot CC3D Atom flight controller, while the additional gimbal and cage is designed and cut specifically for this vehicle. The design process is broken down into three main vehicle components: the quadcopter, the three gimbal rings, and the outer cage. Constraints for this project include a budget of $1500 and manufacturing methods that were available with tools on hand.

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