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muFly

The goal of muFly is to design a fully autonomous helicopter comparable in size and weight to a small bird.

Autonomous micro flying robots combine a large variety of technological challenges and are therefore an excellent showcase for leading edge micro/nano technologies and their integration with information technology towards a fully operational intelligent micro-system. This project proposes, therefore, the development and implementation of the first fully autonomous micro helicopter comparable in size and weight to a small bird. The key challenges of the project include innovative concepts for power sources, sensors, actuators, navigation and helicopter design and their integration into a very compact system. The envisaged fully autonomous micro-helicopter will weight less than 30g and measure only 10cm in diameter. The project shall develop and demonstrate innovative approaches and technologies in:
(1) system level design and optimization of autonomous micro aerial vehicles,
(2) multifunctional use of components (integration of camera and distance sensor, batteries doubling as structural elements, or a propeller used for gyroscopic stabilization),
(3) design of ?smart? miniature inertial sensors and omnidirectional vision sensors with polar pixel arrangement,
(4) miniaturized fuel-cells,
(5) miniaturized piezoelectric actuators with enhanced power to weight ratios, and
(6) control and navigation concepts that can cope with limited sensor and processing performance.

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