Developing an Aerial Manipulator Prototype Physical Interaction with the Environment

Matteo Fumagalli*, Roberto Naldi, Alessandro Macchelli, Francesco Forte, Arvid Q.L. Keemink, Stefano Stramigioli, Raffaella Carloni, Lorenzo Marconi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

104 Citations (Scopus)


This article focuses on the design, modeling, and control of an aerial manipulator prototype, i.e., an innovative configuration consisting of a miniature quadrotor helicopter endowed with a robotic manipulator. The overall system is designed to accomplish operations that require physical interaction with the surrounding environment while remaining airborne. To investigate the dynamical model of the aerial manipulator, a simple planar benchmark is used to analyze the interactions between the quadrotor, the robotic manipulator, and the environment. A control strategy for the planar system is designed to guarantee robustness in the presence or absence of contacts. Experiments on a real setup validate the control in the two different scenarios in which the aerial manipulator is either freely flying or physically interacting with the environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6875943
Pages (from-to)41-50
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep-2014
Externally publishedYes

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