Published June 22, 2021 | Version v1
Journal article Open

Past, Present, and Future of Aerial Robotic Manipulators

  • 1. GRVC Robotics Lab, University of Seville
  • 2. Autonomous Systems Lab, ETH Zürich
  • 3. Department of Mechanical Engineering, Seoul National University
  • 4. Robotics and Mechatronics Lab, University of Twente


This article analyzes the evolution and current trends in aerial robotic manipulation, comprising helicopters, conventional underactuated multirotors, and multidirectional thrust platforms equipped with a wide variety of robotic manipulators capable of physically interacting with the environment. It also covers cooperative aerial manipulation and interconnected actuated multibody designs. The review is completed with developments in teleoperation, perception, and planning. Finally, a new generation of aerial robotic manipulators is presented with our vision of the future.


This work has been funded in part by the Basic Science Research Program of the National Research Foundation of Korea under Grant 2020R1A2C3010039



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GRIFFIN – General compliant aerial Robotic manipulation system Integrating Fixed and Flapping wings to INcrease range and safety 788247
European Commission
AERIAL-CORE – AERIAL COgnitive integrated multi-task Robotic system with Extended operation range and safety 871479
European Commission