This video shows tethered quadrocopters flying steadily together at high speeds exceeding 50 km/h in a confined space. With the tether exerting more than 13 gs of centripetal force, multiple quadrotors are able to fly 1.7m- radius circular trajectories in formation across different orientations in space and then successfully perform a coordinated braking maneuver.
The testbed allows the quadrocopter’s high speed flight behavior to be characterized in order to determine drag characteristics, propeller efficiency, and the physical limits of the machine. It is also being used to safely develop high-speed maneuvers such as emergency braking.
Note that it is possible to remove the central pole by balancing the forces acting on the strings; this could be then used in performance settings, possibly enhanced by light and sound effects.
Maximilian Schulz, Federico Augugliaro, Robin Ritz, Raffaello D’Andrea , “High-speed, Steady Flight with a Quadrocopter in a Confined Environment Using a Tether “, IROS 2015, submitted.
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