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Computational Muticopter Design

MIT is making your custom, pimped-out drone dreams a reality. Behold the Bunnycopter.



WATCH  | Yo, dawg -- we heard you like drones. Well let the mad scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology pimp your ride!

Drone? Yawn.

Look up in the sky and you’ll notice that most of today’s drones look pretty much the same, in one major way: They all look kind of boring.

MIT's new design-it-yourself drone software (perhaps Pimp Your Drone software, even) wants to change that.

More size! More rotors! More power! A bunny!

The MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory created software for non-aviation experts to design the right drone for their needs.

Users can choose from variables like size, number of rotors, amount of weight it will carry, battery size and flight time -- and of course, how cool it should look.

One test model built at CSAIL, the Bunnycopter, is basically a drone that looks like a rabbit. Because why not?

Computational Multicopter Design

The Bunnycopter is an odd-shaped drone, but it flies straight -- thanks to MIT's smart design software.

Computational Multicopter Design

Designing a pentacopter using MIT's software.

The magic in the software

But the MIT software is more than a design studio. It calculates perfect dimensions for flight viability, which means you don't need a mathematician on hand to figure rotor placement or rod length for the oddly shaped drone of your dreams. The software does all that work automatically.

“Irregularly-shaped drones are very difficult to stabilize, which means that they require establishing very complex control parameters,” MIT PhD student Tao Du said in a release about the drone software.


Look at all those rotors!

When can I pimp my own drone?

MIT's software, built with support from the National Science Foundation, the Air Force Research Laboratory and the European Union, is still just a prototype, so there's no timetable yet for its release to the public.

Since there are also a few nagging drone regulations to figure out here in the United States, building your dream drone might have to wait anyway.

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