Design and Analysis of FCSTAR, a Hybrid Flying and Climbing Sprawl Tuned Robot

Nitzan Ben David, David Zarrouk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This letter presents a hybrid flying and climbing robot which we named FCSTAR. This new robot, an upgraded version of FSTAR, is designed for climbing over slopes and is fitted with a sprawling mechanism and propellers that allow it to both run and fly using the same motors. By using thrust reversal and its 4-wheel drive, the robot can drive over steep slopes including walls and reach high places where it cannot fly, such as pipes, sewage channels, ventilation ducts, etc. The combined capabilities of flying, running and climbing allows the FCSTAR to fly over, crawl underneath or climb over obstacles. We first describe the design of the robot and the configuration of the propulsion and flying systems, including the design considerations for its improved climbing capabilities. We then present a model of climbing and analytically compare the different modes of operation to define the optimal design configuration. Finally, we present multiple experiments that we performed using our newly developed design of the FCSTAR robot. The results show that this experimental robot can drive on inclined surfaces and even climb on vertical walls. It can reach ground speeds of up to 3.2 m/s, and fly like a regular quadcopter (see attached video).

Original languageAmerican English
Article number9424378
Pages (from-to)6188-6195
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Robotics and Automation Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2021


  • Flying robot
  • climbing robot
  • driving robot
  • mechanical design
  • reconfigurable robot
  • sprawl tuning

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Control and Optimization
  • Artificial Intelligence


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