Analysis of the problems of unmanned flying manipulators development and UAV physical interaction with ground objects

System analysis, control and data processing


Ronzhin A. L.1*, Nguen V. V.2**, Solenaya O. Y.2**

1. Saint-Petersburg Institute for Informatics and Automation of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 39, 14th line, Saint-Petersburg, 199178, Russia
2. Saint Petersburg State University of Aerospace Instrumentation, 67, Bolshaya Morskaya str., Saint Petersburg, 190000, Russia



The ability of aerial unmanned vehicles to manipulate or carry over surrounding objects, expands greatly the types of missions and application areas, enhancing the operator's ability to perform dirty, dangerous or monotonous operations. To date, employing of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for direct interaction with the environment is still limited due to its instability. Adding an onboard manipulation system to a UAV significantly complicates functioning algorithms, structure and leads to an increase in overall dimensions. The physical interaction of the manipulator with objects affects the UAV instability, which in turn leads to difficulties in the UAV positioning and reduces the accuracy of gripper guidance. In addition, the physical interaction of the manipulator with objects requires UAV's higher power resources. The article analyzes modern research of UAVs with a manipulator, including flight control problems, avoidance of contact with the earth, surrounding space, as well as manipulations with the captured object. Developing mobile manipulator of unmanned aerial vehicle (MM-UAV) is accompanied by a much greater number of difficulties than the creating traditional ground-based robots, performing the tasks of movement together with manipulation. The most difficult issue is the lack of a stable platform in the air. Ground vehicles can stop to perform operations and perform precise manipulations in a stable state, while MM-UAV in most cases does not have this capability. In fact, even employing robust flight stabilization systems, the MM-UAV airborne platform will be situated in a certain area of space, lacking herewith the precise fixed coordinates, especially while out-door operations. The lack of stability of the aerial platform can be partially compensated by manipulator control. The range of manipulator movements and the field of view of the sensors also depend on the side, with which the platform approaches the object. The body of the air platform itself is limiting the workspace of the manipulator. Thus, to increase it, in most cases the manipulator is mounted directly to the lower part of the platform. Still, experiments are performed on full-scale models rarely enough, mainly it is a computer or combined simulation, where the model of the manipulator is suspended in a special frame that simulates the UAV free movement. Based on the analysis, a list of new problems arising in the physical interaction of UAVs with objects through an embedded manipulator is formulated. The above said tasks and requirements allow defining the UAV hardware and software parameters necessary for manipulating and transporting ground objects, as well as interacting with ground-based service robotic platforms and other collaborative robots.


unmanned aerial manipulators, MM-UAV, unmanned aerial vehicles, UAVs, multicopters, physical interaction, collaborative robots


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