Posted Oct 31, 2016 by Devin Coldewey
“Big robots like Spot may be great for carrying things or trotting out onto stages, but just as much sophisticated engineering goes into creating tiny ones as well — and this little flyer from the University of Pennsylvania is one the tiniest yet.
It’s called Piccolissimo, both Italian for smallest and also a play on the creator’s name, Matt Piccoli — and while it isn’t actually the world’s smallest flying robot, Penn does get to claim it as the world’s smallest self-powered, controllable flying robot. Others are smaller, but either can’t be steered or (like the Robobee) are wired for power.
6h0a3694About the width of a quarter, Piccolissimo has just two moving parts, which is one more than the ballbot we saw earlier this month. One is the propeller, the other is the 3D printed body: both spin, but at different speeds. The propeller is slightly off-center, and the body turns 40 times per second, evening out the thrust to vertical — but tiny modifications to that spin speed can send it in one direction or another. It’s all controlled with a simple signal sent over an infrared beam.
For now it just hovers, but functionality is easy to add.”
- “This Quarter-Sized, Self-Powered Drone Is the Smallest in the World” In Futurism
- “Piccolissimo is a 3D printed drone the size of a coin” in htxt.Africa
- “Here’s the World’s Smallest Drone Spinning Itself Into the Air” in Popular Mechanics
- “UPenn 3D-Printed the World’s Smallest Self-Powered Drone” in Inverse
- “Pocket-sized possibilities: Meet the smallest self-powered controllable drone” in Yahoo! Tech
- “Meet Piccolissimo, the world’s smallest self-powered flying robot” in Quartz
- “Watch a Tiny 3-D-Printed Drone with Only Two Moving Parts Take Flight” in Electronics 360
- “UPENN students 3D print Piccolissimo, world’s smallest self-powered flying robot” in 3ders.org