A Scripted Printable Quadrotor: Rapid Design and Fabrication of a Folded MAV

Part of the Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics book series (STAR, volume 114)


Robotic systems hold great promise to assist with household, educational, and research tasks, but the difficulties of designing and building such robots often are an inhibitive barrier preventing their development. This paper presents a framework in which simple robots can be easily designed and then rapidly fabricated and tested, paving the way for greater proliferation of robot designs. The Python package presented in this work allows for the scripted generation of mechanical elements, using the principles of hierarchical structure and modular reuse to simplify the design process. These structures are then manufactured using an origami-inspired method in which precision cut sheets of plastic film are folded to achieve desired geometries. Using these processes, lightweight, low cost, rapidly built quadrotors were designed and fabricated. Flight tests compared the resulting robots against similar micro air vehicles (MAVs) generated using other processes. Despite lower tolerance and precision, robots generated using the process presented in this work took significantly less time and cost to design and build, and yielded lighter, lower power MAVs.


Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene Laser Cutter Modular Design Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene Robot Design 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was funded in part by NSF grants 1240383 and 1138967, for which the authors express thanks.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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