A hardware-in-the-loop test rig for aerial manipulation

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A hardware-in-the-loop test rig is presented to bridge the gap between basic aerial manipulation research and the ability of flying robots to perform tasks such as door opening, bridge repair, agriculture care, and other applications requiring interaction with the environment. Unmanned aerial vehicles have speed and mobility advantages over ground vehicles and can operate in 3-dimensional workspaces. In particular, the usefulness of these capabilities is highlighted in areas where ground robots cannot reach or terrains they are unable to navigate. However, most UAVs operating in near earth or indoor environments still do not have the payload capabilities to support multi-degree of freedom manipulators. We present a rotorcraft emulation environment using a 7 degree of freedom manipulator. Since UAVs require significant setup time and to avoid potential crashes, our test and evaluation environment provides repeatable experiments and captures reactionary forces experienced during ground interaction. Our preliminary results indicate that we can accurately model, emulate, and control our aircraft-manipulator system during both arm actuation and interacting with target objects.
Atmospheric modeling, Aircraft, Joints, Manipulator dynamics, Mathematical model
C. Korpela, M. Orsag, Y. Jun, P. Brahmbhatt and P. Oh, "A hardware-in-the-loop test rig for aerial manipulation," 2013 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS), Atlanta, GA, USA, 2013, pp. 982-987, doi: 10.1109/ICUAS.2013.6564785.