IRIM News & Events

Robotics News Highlights

Control System Helps Several Drones Team Up to Deliver Parcels

Many parcel delivery drones of the future are expected to handle packages weighing five pounds or less, a restriction that would allow small, standardized UAVs to handle a large percentage of the deliveries now done by ground vehicles. But will that relegate heavier packages to slower delivery by conventional trucks and vans?

A research team at the Georgia Institute of Technology has developed a modular solution for handling larger packages without the need for a complex fleet of drones of varying sizes. By allowing teams of small drones to collaboratively lift objects using an adaptive control algorithm, the strategy could allow a wide range of packages to be delivered using a combination of several standard-sized vehicles.

Beyond simplifying the drone fleet, the work could provide more robust drone operations and reduce the noise and safety concerns involved in operating large autonomous UAVs in populated areas. In addition to commercial package delivery, the system might also be used by the military to resupply small groups of soldiers in the field.

“A delivery truck could carry a dozen drones in the back, and depending on how heavy a particular package is, it might use as many as six drones to carry the package,” said Jonathan Rogers, the Lockheed Martin Associate Professor of Avionics Integration in Georgia Tech’s Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering. “That would allow flexibility in the weight of the packages that could be delivered and eliminate the need to build and maintain several different sizes of delivery drones.”

Read the full Press Release Here


National Robotics Week Robot Cards Released

iRobot teams up each year with IEEE Spectrum and Georgia Tech’s Institute for Robotics & Intelligent Machines (IRIM) to create a collectible set of robot trading cards. This year we’re inviting you to design your own Robot All-Star! Download the template and tell us about your robot. Each deck features ten famous robots developed by companies and researchers in the U.S. along with facts about each. Want more robots? Discover even more at the IEEE Guide to the World of Robotics.