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The New Dexterity Low-Cost Robotic Airship for Education and Research

Miniature indoor robotic airship platforms offer high mobility, safety, and extended flighttimes. This project focuses on the feasibility, design, development, and evaluation of such a platform for robotics education and research.

Selected commercially available envelope materials are considered and tested in terms of their helium retention capability and mechanical properties. The obtained envelope properties are used in a feasibility study, demonstrating that indoor airships are environmentally and financially viable, given an appropriate material choice.

The platforms mechanical design is studied in terms of gondola placement and rotor angle positioning, resulting in an unconventional, asymmetric arrangement. The developed system is experimentally validated, proving its efficiency in executing comple

This project focuses on the feasibility, design, and development of an open-source, helium-based, indoor robotic airship that can be used for education and research purposes. First, it focuses on the environmental and financial feasibility of the platform with respect to the helium losses through different envelope materials. The results offer yearly helium loss and related cost estimates for a range of commercially available balloons in an indoor environment. The mechanical properties of candidate materials are also evaluated. Then, the project presents a compact gondola design and explores the effects of its placement and rotor angle positioning on flight stability. The efficiency of the final design is experimentally validated via a proof-of-concept path following exercise that proves its manoeuvring capabilities, while the airship’s motion is being tracked by a Vicon motion capture system. Finally, the platform is examined in terms of cost and possible education and research applications are discussed.”

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