Adaptive Structures + Mechanisms for Aircraft + Spacecraft

Faculty Lead: Christopher Lee

Student Researchers

Hannah Kolano '20, Miranda Lao '20, Anil Patel '20, Max Wei '19, Jingyi Xu '19, Paul Nadan '20, Jeff Pflueger '18, Manik Sethi '18, Mindy Tieu, Duncan Michael '18, Tatiana Anthony '18, Kelli Shimazu '18, Amanda Lee, Elsa Culler, Gray Thomas 

Research Objectives

  1. Origami Structures

    Design, fabricate, and test structures or structural elements that can be used in small aircraft like micro-air-vehicles and spacecraft that can dynamically change shape without or with minimal actuation. 
  2. Bird-Inspired, Perching Landing Gear Mechanism for small UAV’s 

    Design, fabricate, and test landing gear systems that will enable a small air vehicle to take-off, land, and perch on a horizontal or branch-like surface or structure. 


  1. Develop origami-based manufacturing techniques for the mechanical design of lightweight aircraft and spacecraft 
  2. Help enable bird-sized micro-air-vehicles to operate in an urban environment for a sustained period of time conducting intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance of targets.

This research project was made possible through a grant from the Massachusetts Space Grant Consortium.