Copter-Based Configurable UAV

Case ID:

This technology is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) consisting of multiple, interconnected quadcopters, which can fly in custom formations to optimize the control of the vehicle and recover from partial failures. The design allows for on-the-fly reconfiguration of the UAV, enabling robust operation in adverse weather conditions and changing shape to meet physical constraints. Furthermore, this new UAV benefits from redundant power, generated by multiple integrated quadcopters, to advance the resilience of aerial operations against failure and to improve the safety recovery capabilities of unmanned aerial vehicles.

Rotor-based UAVs have significant advantages over traditional wing-based aircraft. They can take off and land without the need for a runway, and they can be made lightweight, agile, and able to hover and fit into small spaces. However, they have drawbacks. When rotors fail, the vehicle is less likely to be able to recover, and may crash. Furthermore, they have limited ability to handle bad weather, such as high winds.

This technology fixes this, creating a novel design that can adapt to failures, unexpected weather conditions, or tight spaces in real time.


  • Remote sensing
  • Inspection
  • Payload transport


  • Powerful: high thrust-to-weight ratio
  • Durable: high strength-to-weight ratio
  • Highly deformation-tolerant
  • Ideal for adverse weather conditions
  • Resilient: can recover from partial rotor failure
  • Can fly in custom formations
Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Tariq Ahmed
Sr Licensing Manager, College of Engineering
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
Hossein Rastgoftar