Rollocopter: An Energy-Aware Hybrid Aerial-Ground Mobility for Extreme Terrains

Sahand Sabet, Ali Akbar Agha-Mohammadi, Andrea Tagliabue, D. Sawyer Elliott, Parviz E. Nikravesh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

20 Scopus citations


In this work, we design and model a new hybrid aerial-ground mobility system concept for extreme terrains referred to as Rollocopter. The platform would uses common multi-rotor propellers enclosed in a spherical shell to produce the necessary forces to roll on the ground and fly. The proposed platform would be able to achieve (a) multi-modal locomotion (fly and roll) for increased energy efficiency, (b) collision resiliency due to its impact-resistant structure, and (c) high-level of controllability due to three-dimensional actuation. This work focuses on the preliminary design trade-offs, analysis and feasibility assessment of the platform. First, a dynamic model of the robot that considers interaction with the ground is developed. Second, a control architecture for flying and rolling is proposed and evaluated in simulation. Finally, a discussion on the energy efficiency of the flying and rolling mobility modes via leveraging a derived dynamic model of the power consumption is provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2019 IEEE Aerospace Conference, AERO 2019
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
ISBN (Electronic)9781538668542
StatePublished - Mar 2019
Event2019 IEEE Aerospace Conference, AERO 2019 - Big Sky, United States
Duration: Mar 2 2019Mar 9 2019

Publication series

NameIEEE Aerospace Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)1095-323X


Conference2019 IEEE Aerospace Conference, AERO 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBig Sky

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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