Robotic aerial manipulation systems have met a ceaseless growth in the past decade. Aerial robots have been endowed with manipulation capabilities through a variety of tools, including grippers, rigid tools, multi-dof arms, and cables. However, modeling and control of deformable aerial manipulation systems remain challenging. Even capturing the behavior of a deformable cable is not trivial, and cables have been often approximated as inextensible linear elements. Sometimes, the cable connected to the aerial robot has been modeled as an elastic spring , or a series of rigid links interconnected by passive spherical joints   .
The objective of this assignment is to compute the model and design the control law of a complex system composed of multiple aerial robots physically connected through a net of cables. The student will be required to
- compute the dynamic equations of the system;
- simulate the robotic system using a dynamic simulator at choice, e.g., Matlab Simulink or Gazebo;
- investigate the properties of the system, e.g., will look for differentially flat outputs of interest;
- design a model-based control law;
- analytically prove the stability of the closed-loop system;
- validate the performance of the controller with numerical simulations.
The main related research questions are:
- Which is a dynamic model that encodes the behavior of an aerial multi-robot system embedding a deformable net and that is suitable to be simulated and used for control design?
- Which are the flat outputs of a system composed of multiple aerial robots physically connected by a net?
- What control law can be used to control a multi-robot system composed of aerial robots physically connected through a net?
The main prerequisites for the student are:
- having passed the Control for UAV class
- expertise in control engineering
- background in mechanical engineering and/or robotics
- independence in analytical and mathematical work
- ability to code simulations in Matlab Simulink or Gazebo
This MSc thesis will take place within the scope of the H2020 Aerial-Core European project.
If you are interested please contact both Chiara Gabellieri <email@example.com> and Antonio Franchi <firstname.lastname@example.org> mentioning in the subject "Aerial manipulation of deformable objects " and attaching to the email:
- a CV
- a motivation letter explaining why you want and are best suited for this assignment
- a list of exams with grades
: Tognon, M., Gabellieri, C., Pallottino, L., and Franchi, A. "Aerial co-manipulation with cables: The role of internal force for equilibria, stability, and passivity." IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters 3.3 (2018): 2577-2583.
: Kotaru, P., and Sreenath, K. "Multiple quadrotors carrying a flexible hose: dynamics, differential flatness and control." IFAC-PapersOnLine 53.2 (2020): 8832-8839.
: Kotaru, P., Wu, G., and Sreenath, K. "Differential-flatness and control of quadrotor (s) with a payload suspended through flexible cable (s)." 2018 Indian Control Conference (ICC). IEEE, 2018.
: Goodarzi, F. A., Lee, D., and Lee, T. "Geometric stabilization of a quadrotor UAV with a payload connected by flexible cable." 2014 American Control Conference. IEEE, 2014.