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I am investigating a possible business opportunity in which quadcopters perform high-precision nutritional delivery via a burrito medium. I have never used a burrito, but I have read on the internet that they typically weigh 600-700 grams (1). This is much too heavy for commercially available platforms.

How many quadcopters would it take to lift a single burrito?

(1): https://www.facebook.com/chipotle/posts/390817319252

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    $\begingroup$ Its not unreasonable for a single quadcopter to lift 1kg. $\endgroup$ – Octopus May 13 '15 at 20:28
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One.

Here's my quadcopter lifting a burrito, and lowering it using an onboard winch, in 2013. Built from the cheap commercially available X-aircraft x650v4 kit, except I replaced the ESCs and the flight controller (I think that's an APM 1.0 on there).

A rule of thumb in multirotor design is that you should be able to hover at 50% throttle. This means that a quadcopter which can fly well at 1kg total weight will actually be able to get off the ground at around 2kg, but you'll have lost almost any ability to control attitude or position.

The winch is built from a servo and a fishing reel. Happy to provide more details.

https://youtu.be/wGwa2DG2Cs0

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It all depends on the payload of your quadcopter. For example I use the Ascending Technologies Hummingbirds quadcopters, which have a payload of 200 grams. You will need 4 of them. Now if you go for heavier quadrotors with payloads of more than a kilogram then you only need one. This is obviously the best solution as attaching several quadcopters together is hazardous.

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  • $\begingroup$ Indeed I intend to use the AscTec Hummingbird. How would you propose I use four of them? If they are stacked vertically, they would interfere with each others' air intake, and if they are flying at equal height, it seems like they would each need to support more than 200 grams... $\endgroup$ – bujel May 13 '15 at 14:07
  • $\begingroup$ You can stack them vertically, just be sure to separate them by at least 3 meters to avoid the downwash. As for putting them at same height and pull the burrito up with strings in a star shaped formation, adding 2 more quadcopters should do the trick. $\endgroup$ – Rodrigo May 13 '15 at 14:20
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Only one; there are many models of quadcopters available that can lift this amount.

The OFM GQuad-8 can lift 6kg, for instance.

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  • $\begingroup$ Hi, thanks for the link. The six kilo payload appears to be when it is flown as an octocopter---I cannot find any numbers for the quadcopter configuration. Nonetheless, very interesting. $\endgroup$ – bujel May 19 '15 at 11:56
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Almost all 300 class quadcopters (300mm diagonally from motor centre to motor centre) will be able to accomplish this. For a quadcopter to lift more you will want bigger props, and lower KV motors. Bigger props will allow better flight times and more thrust, but will decrease the responsiveness of the craft. This is because it is harder to spin up and slow down bigger props, this can be fix by using a 3S mutirotor with CP (collective pitch) rotors.

Here is a quadcopter that is for aerial photography, it is designed to life a relatively heavy DSLR camera and gimbal. young woman beside large quadcopter

Here is a quadcopter that is designed for FPV (First Person View) racing, only designed to hold small cameras. enter image description here

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