Journal article Open Access

Benchmarks for Aerial Manipulation

Suarez, Alejandro; Vega, Victor M.; Fernandez, Manuel; Heredia, Guillermo; Ollero, Anibal

This letter is devoted to benchmarks for aerial manipulation robots (drones equipped with robotic arms), which are demonstrating their potential to conduct tasks involving physical interactions with objects or the environment in high altitude workspaces, being a cost effective solution for example in inspection and maintenance operations. Thus, the letter deals with different methods and criteria to evaluate and compare the performance of aerial manipulators. This is not an easy task, taking into account the wide variety of designs, morphologies and implementations that can be found in recent works. In order to cope with this problem, this letter analyzes the capabilities and functionalities of several aerial manipulation prototypes (aerial platform + manipulator), identifying a set of relevant metrics and criteria. A number of benchmarks are defined to evaluate the performance of the aerial manipulator in terms of accuracy, execution time, manipulation capability, or impact response. Experimental results carried out with a compliant joint aerial manipulator in test-bench and in indoor-outdoor testbeds illustrate some of the benchmarks.

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