Robotic Bird Airplane Can Perch on a Human Hand

Posted on May 2, 2012

MAV Perch on Human Hand at U of I

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a bird-like micro aerial vehicle (MAV) that can make a soft landing and perch on a human hand. The developers say there are two factors that make perching challenging to engineer: 1) the maneuver's duration is very short, on the same order as the aircraft dynamics, and 2) a high level of position accuracy is required for a successful perched landing.

Aditya Paranjape, a postdoctoral scholar working on this project, said in statement, "Our aerial robot concept lacks a vertical tail for improved agility, similar to birds, which renders it dynamically unstable and exacerbates both of these factors. We choose a perching maneuver to demonstrate the capabilities of our articulated-winged aircraft concept, novel guidance algorithms, and control design. In particular, the ability to perform perched landings on a human hand endows our robot with the ability to operate around humans."

Take a look:

Photo: Department of Aerospace Engineering/University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign