Computational Multicopter Design


We present an interactive system for computational design, optimization, and fabrication of multicopters. Our computational approach allows non-experts to design, explore, and evaluate a wide range of different multicopters. We provide users with an intuitive interface for assembling a multicopter from a collection of components (e.g., propellers, motors, and carbon fiber rods). Our algorithm interactively optimizes shape and controller parameters of the current design to ensure its proper operation. In addition, we allow incorporating a variety of other metrics (such as payload, battery usage, size, and cost) into the design process and exploring tradeoffs between them. We show the efficacy of our method and system by designing, optimizing, fabricating, and operating multicopters with complex geometries and propeller configurations. We also demonstrate the ability of our optimization algorithm to improve the multicopter performance under different metrics.


Paper and Code

Computational Multicopter Design
Tao Du, Adriana Schulz, Bo Zhu, Bernd Bickel, Wojciech Matusik
(ACM Transactions on Graphics 2016 (SIGGRAPH Asia 2016)
[Paper] [Code (design)] [Code (control)] [Hardware]


    author = {Du, Tao and Schulz, Adriana and Zhu, Bo and Bickel, Bernd and Matusik, Wojciech},
    title = {Computational Multicopter Design},
    year = {2016},
    issue_date = {November 2016},
    publisher = {Association for Computing Machinery},
    address = {New York, NY, USA},
    volume = {35},
    number = {6},
    issn = {0730-0301},
    url = {},
    doi = {10.1145/2980179.2982427},
    journal = {ACM Trans. Graph.},
    month = {nov},
    articleno = {227},
    numpages = {10},
    keywords = {optimization, fabrication, parametric modeling}