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Sci-Tech

This delicate cube is an omnidirectional octocopter

Researchers have developed an eight-rotor aerial vehicle that has six controllable degrees of freedom.

If you're frustrated with the limitations of the current generation of quadcopters, a team of researchers at ETZ Zurich, Switzerland has been working on a model that improves on precision maneuverability. Dario Brescianini and Raffaello D'Andrea have developed an eight-rotor aerial vehicle that has six controllable degrees of freedom, rather than the four quadcopters have.

"Typically, multi-rotor vehicles such as quadcopters are used to perform these tasks [such as surveillance] because of their agility and mechanical simplicity. However, these traditional multi-rotor vehicles are under-actuated, i.e. unable to independently control their thrust and torque in all three dimensions," the researchers wrote in their paper.

"In this paper we introduce the design and control of a novel omni-directional multi-rotor aerial vehicle, i.e. a vehicle whose dynamical properties are almost independent of the vehicle orientation and that is able to hover and accelerate in any direction."

You can see how it works in the video above, and read about it in depth in the paper.