The eMotionSpheres show how several flying objects can move within a defined airspace in a coordinated manner. Whether individually or collectively – there are no collisions, even in chaotic situations, as the spheres evade each other with the help of deposited behavioral patterns.
Ten cameras installed in the space detect the spheres via their active infrared markers and relay this position data to a central master computer. The actions the central computer calculates are sent to the spheres and carried out on a decentralized basis. Intelligent networking creates a control and monitoring system that could be used in the networked factory of the future.
Each of the eight spheres has a diameter of 95 cm and is filled with helium. They are each driven by eight small propellers attached to their outer hull. The drives are adaptive and provide the same efficient thrust forwards and in reverse, which is a genuine innovation for flying objects.
The design of the adaptive propellers is based on the experience gained with the BionicOpter. Our developers took the wing principle of the artificial dragonfly a step further and transferred it to the unique drives of the spheres.
Like the wings of the BionicOpter the propellers of the spheres consist of a stable frame, covered with a flexible membrane. The laser-sintered frame is twisted once and thus forms an figure of eight. Since the film is not absolutely tight, it inflates to one side or the other, depending on the direction in which the propeller is spinning. This creates a passive effect, as it also occurs in the flapping wing of the artificial dragonfly.