POSITRON: lightweight active positioning compliant joints robotic arm in power lines inspection
This paper presents the design and implementation of a compliant lightweight manipulator with an special end-effector to attach to power-lines. The manipulator can be mounted in aerial robots allowing to compute its relative position from the contact point. The purpose of this device is to obtain an estimate of the UAV’s position to close the control loop. Controlling the position of the UAV close to the powerline enables a new wide range of inspection and maintenance tasks in this infrastructure. The article describes the model of the positioning tool and the sensors it uses to provide the necessary information for the UAV controller. It can be built using additive manufacturing techniques and its components are low-cost and available in common robotic stores so anyone can reproduce and use it. Validation experiments have been carried out in an Optitrack system as ground-truth.