So You Think You Can Dance? Rhythmic Flight Performances with Quadrocopters

  • Angela P. Schoellig
  • Hallie Siegel
  • Federico Augugliaro
  • Raffaello D’Andrea


This chapter reviews an approach for generating rhythmic flight motions that are executed by quadrocopters and timed to music. It represents a research and artistic experiment, which explores for the first time the potential of using flying vehicles in rhythmic, musical performances. We introduce periodic movements as the basic motion elements of such a performance, and derive control algorithms for guiding the vehicles along the desired motion paths and synchronizing their motion to the music. The vehicle dynamics and constraints are taken into account to determine, prior to flight, which motions are feasible. We demonstrate the resulting multivehicle flight performances at the ETH Zurich Flying Machine Arena.


Flying robots  Quadrocopters Rhythmic flight Trajectory planning  Motion feasibility Motion–music synchronization 



The authors would like to acknowledge the contributions of the current and former Flying Machine Arena team members, in particular Markus Hehn, Sergei Lupashin, Mark W. Mueller, and Michael Sherback. The authors also thank Marc-Andre Corzillius, Carolina Flores, Hans Ulrich Honegger, and Igor Thommen for the technical support. This research was supported in part by the Swiss National Science Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angela P. Schoellig
    • 1
  • Hallie Siegel
    • 2
  • Federico Augugliaro
    • 2
  • Raffaello D’Andrea
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Aerospace StudiesUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Institute for Dynamic Systems and ControlETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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