Development of a 200 gram twin-rotor micro cyclocopter capable of autonomous hover Conference Paper uri icon


  • This paper describes the vehicle design and control system development of a novel Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft - the Cyclocopter. Cyclocopter utilizes cycloidal-rotors (cyclorotors), a revolutionary horizontal axis propulsion concept which has many advantages such as higher aerodynamic efficiency, maneuverability and high-speed forward night capability when compared to a conventional helicopter rotor. One of the key advantages of the cyclorotor is its thrust vectoring capability, which is utilized in the present study for yaw control. The present vehicle has a twin-cyclorotor and a horizontal tail rotor configuration where each of the rotors is powered using independent motors. A novel attitude control technique is developed using differential RPM control and thrust vectoring of the cyclorotors for rolling and yawing, and horizontal tail rotor for pitch control. The vehicle was susceptible to roll-yaw and yaw-roll coupling which was removed by appropriately trimming the thrust vectors of the cyclorotors. For closed-loop attitude stabilization of the vehicle, a proportional-derivative controller was implemented on an onboard 1.5 gram processor-sensor board. Using this control system, the stable autonomous hover of the cyclocopter was successfully demonstrated. Copyright 2012 by the American Helicopter Society International Inc. All rights reserved.

published proceedings

  • American Helicopter Society International - Future Vertical Lift Aircraft Design Conference 2012

author list (cited authors)

  • Benedict, M., Shrestha, E., Hrishikeshavan, V., & Chopra, I.

complete list of authors

  • Benedict, M||Shrestha, E||Hrishikeshavan, V||Chopra, I

publication date

  • December 2012