Quads Throwing and catching an inverted pendulum


[copying from Robohub]


Two of the most challenging problems tackled with quadrocopters so far are balancing an inverted pendulum and juggling balls. My colleagues at ETH Zurich’s Flying Machine Arena have now combined the two.


As part of his Master thesis Dario Brescianini, student at ETH Zurich’s Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control, has developed algorithms that allow quadrocopters to juggle an inverted pendulum. If you are not sure what that means (or how that is even possible), have a look at his video “Quadrocopter Pole Acrobatics”:



You can read the full article with much more details and other photos here:


Views: 2576

Comment by Flying Monkey on February 21, 2013 at 3:29pm

Every time I go thinking that my newest multirotor trick is amazing, these guys come and blow me out of the water!  Lol...

Terrific stuff!

Comment by Michael on February 21, 2013 at 4:57pm

Amazing, and I can't even do a flip!

Comment by Alfred Alan jr on February 21, 2013 at 5:16pm

Wow, speechless..............

Comment by Anish on February 21, 2013 at 8:42pm

man these guys are having way too much fun, wondering if one should return to academics ;)

Comment by Luiz Miranda on February 21, 2013 at 10:56pm

wow, I really don't want to be here in this planet 100 years from....lol

Comment by Luiz Miranda on February 21, 2013 at 10:58pm

from now...

Comment by Jason Wise on February 22, 2013 at 2:01am

I wonder if they actually fly MR's as a hobby?

Comment by Krzysztof Bosak on February 22, 2013 at 4:25am

Amazing achievement as control system demonstration, but all this is useless outside the building because of precision required by custom laser position finding equipment. Then again, if you have to stay confined to the tasks inside the building, you really don't need flying robots, because stationary robots can do it better. All things combined, they do amazing job - yet they are now left 'practically applicable' area and are heading away and away... at the end of it it is unlikely they will discover radically new control method, since 95% of thesis like those are strictly consacred for 'making things work for a given crazy task' which is not bad in itself - because it is Polytechnic School.

Don't get me wrong, I just wanted to say it would be so much better if one day they would finally start doing at least simplified versions of their thesis outside at Zurich - a completely different order of magnitude of complications would then arise.

Comment by John Arne Birkeland on February 22, 2013 at 10:05am

Krzysztof, I agree this would fall apart in the real world. But that's part of the point. To get real world applications, you first have to figure out the principle of operation and the mechanics behind them in a controlled lab environment with no external factors interfering. Only then can you realistically know where to start adding robustness to handle real world scenarios later on.

Comment by Flying Monkey on February 22, 2013 at 10:17am

You gotta test, experiment and develop in the laboratory first. The hardest thing they're doing is the algorithms and creating concepts (thinking WAY outside the box).  Then later they can move outdoors... GPS is actually way more accurate than what we're allowed to use, its been degraded down to a resolution of 1 to 3 feet for us but the military is using much more accurate numbers.  There are also other systems being developed that would be 100x more accurate than GPS... and come close to these indoor systems they're using.  It'll happen, and Skynet will win, lol!


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