Many personal drones are some style of multicopter – a flying machine with spinning propellers. Quadcopters have four. Hexacopters have six. Yet “there are plenty of cases in which standard quadcopters and hexacopters might not be the best solution for a given task,” notes Tao Du. “There are only a small range of options for drones that you can buy,” points out this MIT graduate student who worked on the new program.
The system from Du’s team is the ultimate in do-it-yourself. It lets people pick the size, shape and structure that best fits their needs. Such an approach increases the shapes, styles and sizes of drones that users can fly and what they can do with them. And the designers don’t need to be experts in physics to do it.