Robotics Master graduate, Victor C. Rochel, receives the Hilti Award
Robotics Master graduate, Victor Casas Rochel, receives the Hilti Award for the outstanding creativity, innovation, and originality of his Master's Thesis titled "Utilizing Wind Currents in Morphing VTOL Tailsitters" in the field of mechatronics with practical applications.
Wind disturbances constitute an excellent challenge for Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) tailsitters drones. While flying vertically, their aerodynamic surface is exposed to crosswind gusts. As a consequence, missions are put in danger due to extra drag and destabilization, and the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) becomes energy inefficient. Only a few tailsitters can reduce their wing surface by retracting their wings. However, their morphing wing strategy relies only on retracting their wings for vertical flights and extending them for horizontal flights. This project presents a tailsitter morphing wing strategy that can utilize wind currents during vertical flights. The vehicle can morph the wings symmetrically and asymmetrically to change the aerodynamic forces and moments produced by the wind. Hence, the morphing tailsitter is able to adjust its velocity while flying with the wind and perform rotations around the vertical axis at low energetic costs.