Student working on a research project.

A Hybrid, Morphic, Multi-agents Platform That Can Roll And Fly

The Shapeshifter is a novel, morphic and multimodal mobility platform, conceptualized by JPL, for the exploration of inaccessible areas, such as caves and cliffs on Titan. This concept is based on a swarm of 12 quadrotors, called the CoBots, that can combine into a spherical structure, the Shapeshifter, able to roll on the ground. The proposed task consists in designing and building 12 identical CoBots. The task can be divided in the following subtasks: 1) choose the components (motors, batteries, frames, propellers) for each CoBot. 2) Design a docking mechanism (e.g. based on electromagnets or mechanical claws) that allows the 12 CoBots to connect together - while on the ground- into a sphere 3) Design and manufacture an outer shell, integrated into each CoBot, that allows the Shapeshifter to have a spherical shape and that allows withstand impacts with the ground while rolling. The individuals will work closely with CRASH Lab. Directions and support to undergraduate students will be provided through CRASH Lab to ensure the project’s success. This is an opportunity for students to gain invaluable hands on design experience in developing a full robotic system as well as devising required kinematics. Lastly, group members working on the project will have a scheduled bi-monthly telecom with NASA to report on their progress and outlook

Research Project Information

Student Skill-Set Needed: Mechatronics, controls, and/or CAD expertise
Compensation: Academic Credit, Volunteer
Available: Fall, Spring


For further information on this opportunity, or to apply, contact:

Faculty Member: Javid Bayandor
Title: Associate Professor
Department: Mechanical And Aerospace Engineering