6DOF Aerial Manipulators

June 2020

International Conference on
Robotics and Automation
Jake Welde and Vijay Kumar

In this work, we derive a coordinate-free formulation of the coupled dynamics of a class of 6DOF aerial manipulators consisting of an underactuated quadrotor equipped with a 2DOF articulated manipulator, and demonstrate that the system is differentially flat with respect to the end effector pose. In particular, we require the center of mass of the entire system to be fixed in the end effector frame, which can be interpreted as a physically realizable design criterion. We make use of an inertial decoupling transformation to demonstrate differential flatness, allowing us to plan dynamically feasable trajectories for the system in the space of the 6DOF pose of the end effector, which is ideal for achieving precise manipulator tasks. Simulation results validate the flatness-based planning methodology for the dynamic model derived, and its usefulness is demonstrated in a simulated aerial videography task.



Below is my conference presentation, given in virtual form due to COVID-19.



J. Welde and V. Kumar, “Coordinate-Free Dynamics and Differential Flatness of a Class of 6DOF Aerial Manipulators,” 2020 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Paris, France, 2020, pp. 4307-4313, doi: 10.1109/ICRA40945.2020.9196705.


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A poster on this topic was presented at NERC 2019.