Publication

Pteromys: Interactive Design and Optimization of Free-formed Free-flight Model Airplanes

AbstractThis paper introduces novel interactive techniques for designing original hand-launched free-flight glider airplanes which can actually fly. The aerodynamic properties of a glider aircraft depend on their shape, imposing significant design constraints. We present a compact and efficient representation of glider aerodynamics that can be fit to real-world conditions using a data-driven method. To do so, we acquire a sample set of glider flight trajectories using a video camera and the system learns a nonlinear relationship between forces on the wing and wing shape. Our acquisition system is much simpler to construct than a wind tunnel, but using it we can efficiently discover a wing model for simple gliding aircraft. Our resulting model can handle general free-form wing shapes and yet agrees sufficiently well with the acquired airplane flight trajectories. Based on this compact aerodynamics model, we present a design tool in which the wing configuration created by a user is interactively optimized to maximize flight-ability. To demonstrate the effectiveness of our tool for glider design by novice users, we compare it with a traditional design workflow.

Download publication

Related Resources

See what’s new.

Publication

2015

Tactum: A Skin-Centric Approach to Digital Design and Fabrication

Skin-based input has become an increasingly viable interaction model…

Publication

2012

Exploring the Collective Categorization of Biological Information for Biomimetic Design

Categorizing biological information can be subjective and ambiguous,…

Publication

1999

An exploration into supporting artwork orientation in the user interface

Rotating a piece of paper while drawing is an integral and almost…

Project

2015

Hy-Fi

A building project to test and refine a new low-energy biological…

Get in touch

Something pique your interest? Get in touch if you’d like to learn more about Autodesk Research, our projects, people, and potential collaboration opportunities.

Contact us