‘Atlas’ Heavylift Octocopter

Background / Applications

Atlas is an X8 configuration, meaning eight motors are mounted co-axially on four arms. The initial motivation for the project came from a RUASRT member’s masters research work which focused on obstacle avoidance for unmanned aircraft. The sensor in question, a Single Photon Avalanche Diode (SPAD) camera, was too heavy to be lifted by any of our UAS at the time, and also required a certain level of redundancy in the propulsion system due to the sensor replacement cost. This large, heavylift multi-rotor is also available as a general-purpose, payload-lifting craft. Any RMIT student or staff member interested in flying a payload on an UAS platform should contact us to discuss project details.

Manufacturing Process

A small team of undergraduate students hand-selected each of the components to suit a general-payload lifting requirement (including retractable landing-gear to allow for full 360 degree sensor field of view). Assembly and testing has all been done in-house, with the exception of some custom-made PCBs allowing for a whole range of general connectors (including power and data).


Payload (max)

3.5 kg


Maximum Takeoff Mass 9 kg
Range 1 km
Endurance 20 mins (hover)