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Published on : Jul 12, 2019

In the past few years, aerial robots have become quite popular across a variety of applications in different fields. Several of these robots are designed to fly around and gather visual information from their surroundings. Some of the robots can carry objects or at times assemble them.

Aerial robots equipped with advanced physical interaction capacities could be highly useful. This is because it will allow them to operate on more complex tasks. However, due to the complexities in aerodynamics, equipping robots with advanced physical interaction capacities has often been challenging. This is especially true when the robot is operating close to the surface.

For this problem, researchers from the Basilicata University, Southern Lazio University, and Cassino University have introduced a new model that allows 6-D interaction control for the aerial robots. This model is expected to carve the path for the upcoming research and studies to develop more effective aerial robot systems.

The researchers call this new model as a 6-D flying end effector. This model is applicable to the majority, if not all, complete actuated system that can monitor a full-pose trajectory. During the research, the 6-D fly end effector was particularly tested on Tilt-Hex, a new series of aerial robots. It allowed the machine to have independent control of its angular as well as linear acceleration. Ultimately, it allowed the machine to quickly deal with any wrench it came against while interacting with its surroundings.

By leveraging the tilted propeller actuation, the flying robot is in position to completely control the 6-D pose. It can independently control its orientation and position. With such control, it is then able to exert torque and force with a rigidly attached end effector. The whole interaction is carried with the help of an admittance control scheme.

The researchers are now trying to develop a fully autonomous system that can replace the existing motion capture system. They are also trying to refine the differentiation forces on the tip of the tool and the disturbance it causes on the platform.