Whether you call them samara seeds, maple seeds, or helicopter seeds, most of us know seeds that spin to the ground with one or two blades.They have become a source of inspiration for several robotic autorotating gliders, and Researchers at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) can now also let them dive quickly as instructed. The video after the break.
In the previous version, the researchers showed that they could control SAW (Samara Automatic Rotating Wing) by servo-driving the trailing edge of the blade. It gets input from the onboard 3-axis magnetometer and GPS, and continuously adjusts the control surface according to its direction to make it fly in the selected direction.This Latest papers (PDF) It focuses on the new ability of the aircraft to switch from autorotation to fast diving and return to autorotation. Named dSAW (diving SAW), it can stall by changing the angle of the control surface to almost 90° to the wing and fall like a rock. It exits the dive by simply moving the control surface back to its normal rotation position. The kinetic energy accumulated during diving will be converted into rotational energy very quickly, which will cause its vertical speed to instantly slow to almost zero before returning to normal taxiing.
We can certainly see that this is useful when the dSAW needs to lower its altitude quickly to avoid being pushed off the course by the wind. The video below demonstrates this by dropping three dSAWs from an RC airplane. According to instructions, they spread out, each spread out in a designated direction, and then repeatedly switched between dive and autorotation modes as they descended to the ground. The researchers envision this will be used to spread sensor units over a large area in a controlled manner from an aircraft. What will you use this technology for? Please tell us below.