Exploiting the rotor geometry in the interaction control of tilt rotor UAVs under the influence of proximity effect

MSc assignment

Nowadays aerial robots are used in a wide variety of applications. New design of aerial robots called variable tilt UAVs, are designed to combine the advantage of existing multirotor with omnidirectional controllability. Researchers benefit this feature to with the environment especially in the maintenance application. The current state of the art can be found in [1,2]. 

However, most of the current state of the art progresses have been limited to laboratory experiments, which hardly take into account external factors, such as disturbances and various surfaces with different properties. For example, maintenance of wind turbines is carried out outdoor and happens near a surface with irregular shape. As a result, it is inevitable that the UAV fly, hover and interact near to these surfaces.

Recently, there has been several research using fluid dynamic modeling and combining control approaches for underactuated UAVs to modify the task effectives in proximity effect [3]. But they are limited to predetermined physical model of ground effect and proposed controllers are model dependent and task dependent. Hence, the idea of exploiting the UAV structure in a new control design is initiated. Moreover, none of current methods are applicable during the interaction.

Thesis topic:

The knowledge of controller simulation and ROS programing is needed for this assignment. The program will be implemented on variable title drone designed and built in Saxion.

Main task:

The MSc thesis will take place in the scope of RAAK PRO Mars4Earth project which the focus lies on the development of aerial manipulator that can physically interact with the environment. This project is defined in collaboration of Saxion university of applied science and University of Twente.

This MSC assignment mainly happens at Saxion mechatronic research group, but if necessary, the student can benefit from UT facilities.

[1] M. Kamel et al., "The Voliro Omniorientational Hexacopter: An Agile and Maneuverable Tiltable-Rotor Aerial Vehicle," in IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine, vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 34-44, Dec. 2018, doi: 10.1109/MRA.2018.2866758

[2] Ryll, Muscio, Pierri, Cataldi, Antonelli, Caccavale, Bicego, Franchi. "6D interaction control with aerial robots: The flying end-effector paradigm." The International Journal of Robotics Research 38.9 (2019): 1045-1062.

[3] McKinnon, C.D.; Schoellig, A.P. Estimating and reacting to forces and torques resulting from common
525 aerodynamic disturbances acting on quadrotors. Robotics and Autonomous Systems 2020, 123, 103314.