Sensor Installation and Retrieval Operations using an Unmanned Aerial Manipulator

Salua Hamaza, Ioannis Georgilas, Manuel Fernandez, Pedro Sanchez-Cuevas , Thomas Richardson, Guillermo Heredia, Anibal Ollero

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54 Citations (SciVal)
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A wide range of applications for which unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are ideally suited rely on the development of manipulators capable of exchanging forces with the environment. One such application is the installation and retrieval of intelligent sensors for monitoring wide-spread areas and locations that are difficult to access by any other means. Within this letter, we report on both indoor and outdoor flights tests of a novel force controlled lightweight compliant manipulator that allows a UAV to carry out this type of task. Installation and retrieval are both demonstrated with different scenarios, indoors and outdoors. Key results include interaction forces up to 22 N exerted by a small-sized multirotor, placement and retrieval operations carried out on flat as well as cylindrical surfaces, and an analysis of the overall system. The results of multiple flight experiments clearly demonstrate the potential of this approach for the deployment of sensors and other force-related tasks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8719995
Pages (from-to)2793-2800
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Robotics and Automation Letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019


  • Aerial systems
  • aerial systems
  • applications
  • mechanics and control
  • mechanism design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Control and Optimization
  • Artificial Intelligence


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