The Mechanical Engineering program at UPenn culminates in a year-long engineering project. Working as part of a team of 6 other engineering students I helped to develop a novel aerial vehicle. Called the 'OXcopter' because of its unique coaxial rotors, it is a more efficient payload-carrying drone.
Senior Design team with the OXcopter at final poster session, Spring 2017.
Our original design, the OXcopter, features two large contra-rotating propellers above a standard quadrotor configuration: a hybrid design for ease of control and efficient flight. The quadrotor simplifies vehicle control. The large propellers provide efficient lift by maximizing rotor disk area per vehicle footprint. This creates significant efficiency advancements compared to other multirotor systems which use only a fraction of their footprint for lift. In fact, the OXcopter consumes 24% less electrical power than a quadrotor of the same size and weight.
The project consisted of designing and building the flight vehicle from scratch, which involved aerodynamic analysis, machining, experiments, and a lot of redesign. I worked mainly on experiment design, analysis, and vechicle machining and assembly. Towards the end of the project we worked roughly 40 hours per week per team member.
See our final poster, which I designed, here.