The Swash Mass Helicopter

We are pursuing a research endeavor starting from scratch: design, control, and prototyping of new unmanned aerial vehicles. In my team, we are working in this new fascinating domain, mixing expertise in system modeling, control and prototyping. A drone workshop has been established, fully equipped to build and test flying machines… Watch the video on YouTube



Among the first results, I’d like to list the design of a small helicopter structure that is maneuvered through the control of moving masses. It has been named swash mass helicopter (SMH).

We have studied the SMH structure, developed the dynamical system model in the Newton’s framework, and studied non linear control algorithms.

And not only this: we have built the initial prototypes to verify in practice feasibility and the theoretical ideas. This part has been rather challenging since all mechanical actuators and parts have been hand crafted.


Further reading

A. M. Tonello, B. Salamat, “A Swash Mass Unmanned Aerial Vehicle: Design, Modeling and Control,” arXiv, Sept. 2019.

B. Salamat, A. M. Tonello, “Energy Based Control of a Swash Mass Helicopter through Decoupling Change of Coordinates,” IEEE Access, April 2020.

B. Salamat, A. M. Tonello, “Robust Energy Based Control of a Swash Mass Helicopter Subjected to Matched Disturbances,” Proc. of IEEE Aerospace Conference 2020.

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