PufferBot: Actuated Expandable Structures for Aerial Robots

Hooman Hedayati , Ryo Suzuki , Daniel Leithinger , Daniel Szafir



We present PufferBot, an aerial robot with an expandable structure that may expand to protect a drone’s propellers when the robot is close to obstacles or collocated humans. PufferBot is made of a custom 3D printed expandable scissor structure, which utilizes a one degree of freedom actuator with rack and pinion mechanism. We propose four designs for the expandable structure, each with unique charac- terizations which may be useful in different situations. Finally, we present three motivating scenarios in which PufferBot might be useful beyond existing static propeller guard structures.


Hooman Hedayati, Ryo Suzuki, Daniel Leithinger, Daniel SzafirPufferBot: Actuated Expandable Structures for Aerial RobotsIn Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS '20)IEEE, New York, NY, USA  Page: 1-6.  DOI: