Featured Project – Monocopter, Zhiyuan (Nick) Zhang

Zhiyuan (Nick) Zhang, a student in Professor Panos Tsiotras’s Dynamics and Control Systems Laboratory (DCSL), has been using the IFL to fly a radio-controlled monocopter. The monocopter is a type of non-symmetrical autorotation aerial vehicle. In its operation the entire vehicle rotates around its center of gravity, generating lift with a single rotating blade. The monocopter was invented in the early 20th century but sees virtually no practical use because, although it is dynamically stable, it’s difficult to control. In this project, the radio-controlled monocopter was built as a test-bed to develop a low-cost high-performance simulation of its dynamical behavior using a residual neural network.