Journal article Open Access

Low-cost 3D-Printable Docking System for Controlling Aerial Robotic Manipulators in Outdoor Industrial Applications

Pablo Ramón Soria; Begoña C. Arrue; Anibal Ollero

This article proposes a novel docking system design for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that provides measurements of the robot's position at high frequency. These measurements are used to control the aerial robot, enabling it to hover while it performs any kind of manipulation task in GPS-denied industrial environments without causing the UAV to drift or putting at risk the platform and its environment. The novel tool is designed as an arm end effector, preventing the aerial manipulator from colliding while in operation. A cascade controller is proposed to close the position loop. An additional use case for the docking system is described in the "Experimental Validation" section; it consists of performing position-based servoing (PBS) of a second manipulator using the position provided by the docking tool and the manipulator's kinematic model.

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