ModLab UPenn the modular robotics laboratory at the university of pennsylvania

The Dysc is a new MAV with counter-rotating rotors that uses gyroscopic moments for attitude control. The two rotors are fixed pitch, eliminating the need for complex mechanisms like the swashplate, leading to lower cost and easier maintenance when compared to traditional helicopter configurations. In addition, the Dysc has the potential for higher agility than quadrotors.


The Dysc is a rotorcraft with two counter-rotating coaxial rotors. Unlike those in conventional coaxial rotorcraft, the Dysc’s rotors are coincident at their centers, and are gimbaled to the main body. The vehicle is composed of five rigid bodies: the airframe, interior gimbal, interior rotor, exterior gimbal, and exterior rotor.

As with typical rotorcraft, the Dysc’s rotors generate not only the thrust necessary to hover, but also the attitude control moments. Unlike typical rotorcraft, however, the Dysc generates attitude moments without using aerodynamic forces. The rotors act as Variable-Speed Control Moment Gyroscopes (VCMGs), enabling the vehicle to generate pitch and roll moments through the proper control of the rotor speeds and gimbal joint velocities.



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