2D Contour Following with an Unmanned Aerial Manipulator: Towards Tactile-Based Aerial Navigation

Salua Hamaza, Ioannis Georgilas , Tom Richardson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

9 Citations (Scopus)
228 Downloads (Pure)


In this paper we present a force control via energy tanks method for use with an unmanned aerial manipulator for the purposes of 2D contour following. This allows an aerial vehicle to trace out a boundary whilst in continuous contact with a surface through means of an active compliant manipulator. This is a key step towards tactile-based aerial navigation, which can be used to complement more traditional mapping approaches such as visual slam. Our results show that an energy-based approach can be used to apply a constant shear force through the manipulator whilst ensuring the vehicle remains in contact with the surface of interest. Results also show that this is a robust, repeatable approach to aerial tactile interaction and one which has the potential to be used in highly complex, unknown environments.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2019 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS)
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-7281-4004-9
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Jan 2020

Publication series

NameIntelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), IEEE International Workshop on
ISSN (Electronic)2153-0866


  • Aerial Robotics Applications
  • Aerial Robotics Mechanics and Control
  • Tactile Navigation
  • Manipulation


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