Infoscience

Conference paper

An origami-inspired cargo drone

Multicopters stand to revolutionize parcel delivery because of their capability to operate in areas with unsuitable road infrastructure and precisely maneuver in cluttered environments. However, current multicopters for delivery can be dangerous for people, and are difficult to store and transport. Safety issues arise because users are exposed to unshielded spinning propellers. Transportation to the place of deployment and storage is often impaired by the large size that is required for heavy lifting. This paper addresses these limitations by proposing the integration of a quadcopter into a foldable protective cage. The cage provides an all-round protective structure that physically separates the propellers from the environment, ensuring the safety of people. The drone and the cage can be easily folded with a single movement, significantly reducing its size for ease of storage and transportation. This design has been validated with a quadcopter that can lift parcels up to 500 g and reduce its storage volume by 92% when folded.

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