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Sensor Installation and Retrieval Operations using an Unmanned Aerial Manipulator

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Salua Hamaza
  • Ioannis Georgilas
  • Manuel Fernandez
  • Pedro Sanchez
  • Tom Richardson
  • Guillermo Heredia
  • Anibal Ollero
Original languageEnglish
Article number8719995
Pages (from-to)2793 - 2800
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Robotics and Automation Letters
Issue number3
Early online date22 May 2019
DateAccepted/In press - 1 May 2019
DateE-pub ahead of print - 22 May 2019
DatePublished (current) - 1 Jul 2019


A wide range of applications for which unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are ideally suited rely on the development of manipulators capable of exchanging forces with the environment. One such application is the installation and retrieval of intelligent sensors for monitoring wide-spread areas and locations that are difficult to access by any other means. Within this letter, we report on both indoor and outdoor flights tests of a novel force controlled lightweight compliant manipulator that allows a UAV to carry out this type of task. Installation and retrieval are both demonstrated with different scenarios, indoors and outdoors. Key results include interaction forces up to 22 N exerted by a small-sized multirotor, placement and retrieval operations carried out on flat as well as cylindrical surfaces, and an analysis of the overall system. The results of multiple flight experiments clearly demonstrate the potential of this approach for the deployment of sensors and other force-related tasks.

    Research areas

  • Aerial Robotics Applications, Aerial Robotics Mechanics and Control, MECHANISM DESIGN, Manipulation, Aerial systems applications, mechanics and control, aerial systems, mechanism design, Aerial systems, applications

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