Fierce Engineering: UC engineers build tethered drones for safer flights

UC researchers developed a semiautonomous navigation system that uses AI

Fierce Engineering highlighted research by the University of Cincinnati to create a drone that can make automatic adjustments to remain stable in the air even when pulled on a tether.

UC College of Engineering and Applied Science professor Manish Kumar and doctoral student Shraddha Barawkar developed a custom navigation system that uses artificial intelligence based on fuzzy logic, a type of computer decision making that relies on degrees of truth rather than a binary true-false dichotomy. This makes it a more robust system because no precise inputs are required.

Kumar demonstrated the system in his lab using a four-rotor drone called a quadcopter attached to a wooden rod. When Kumar pushed or pulled the rod, the drone automatically tilted in the same direction, maintaining its stability and position in the air.

“The way we fly kites, we can fly drones,” Barawkar said.

Read the Fierce Engineering story.

Featured image at top: UC mechanical engineering professor Manish Kumar kneels in front of twin drones in his Situational Awareness Lab. Photo/Ravenna Rutledge/UC Creative + Brand

Video link:

UC College of Engineering and Applied Science professor Manish Kumar demonstrates how the navigation system UC developed allows a drone to make automatic adjustments in mid-air while being pulled or manipulated on a tether. Vidoe/Manish Kumar and Shraddha Barawkar