A geometric port-Hamiltonian modelling and simulation framework for Morphing-Wing UAVs

Finished: 2023-02-20

MSc assignment

Flapping-wing aerial robots possess numerous capabilities that make them viable candidates for many potential new applications. Although the most popular choice of UAV design in currently successful civilian applications is the multirotor UAV, e.g. the quadrotor, such vehicles have a number of fundamental limitations that could be resolved in flapping-wing UAVs.

In the Portwings project, which is an ERC advanced grant of Prof. Stramigioli, we are aiming for the development of advanced robotic birds by understanding and decoding the secrets of flapping-flight of birds. One of the milestones in this journey is the iterative development of the new robot starting from morphing-wing UAVs.

The goal of this M.Sc. thesis is to develop a generic modeling framework for morphing-wing UAVs using Lie group and screw-theory. Using the duality structure of wrenches and twists, this framework offers a systematic modular approach for modeling a generic morphing-wing UAV with different interchangeable configurations.

Another goal of this thesis is to extend the widely used Gazebo simulation environment with the geometric morphing-wing models developed above. Thus, allowing (in the future) for the development of flight-control algorithms to validate prototypes of morphing- and eventually flapping-wing UAVs.