Design and control of a small aerial manipulator for indoor environments

Robert Mitchell Jones, Donglei Sun, Gabriel Barsi Haberfeld, Arun Lakshmanan, Thiago Marinho, Naira Hovakimyan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents the design methodology and control architecture of an aerial manipulator operating in indoor environments. The critical challenges of functioning effectively in such environments are (i) maximizing workspace in constrained spaces like narrow corridors or tight corners, and (ii) achieving stable flight when lifting payloads of unknown mass in the presence of uncertainties. While aerial manipulation has been researched to some extent, few efforts have been made to address both of these challenges simultaneously. Our proposed design is a small vehicle with heavy-lift capability. We show that with the proposed aerial manipulator design, a viable solution to the growing need for assistive indoor technology is possible through the use of aerial vehicles. The aerial manipulator platform proposed in this paper is unique in several aspects, capable of performing various tasks which before may not have been possible. Control law design, including an attitude and a rate command augmentation system, a feedforward torque compensation system, and an L1 adaptive augmentation law, are discussed in detail. To facilitate the design process, a simulation model is built to conduct control verification before implementation on the real vehicle. Simulation results are presented to verify the design.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAIAA Information Systems-AIAA Infotech at Aerospace, 2017
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
ISBN (Print)9781624104497
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes
EventAIAA Information Systems-Infotech At Aerospace Conference, 2017 - Grapevine, United States
Duration: 9 Jan 201713 Jan 2017

Publication series

NameAIAA Information Systems-AIAA Infotech at Aerospace, 2017


ConferenceAIAA Information Systems-Infotech At Aerospace Conference, 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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