Synergistic Transport of Objects by Rotorcraft


While the motion control of aerial vehicles in free flight is reaching its maturity, new challenges that involve interaction with the environment are being embraced. In this project we will focus on load transportation as a particular interaction with the environment, edging on the versatility and agility of rotorcraft to accomplish this task. To extends significantly the range of the missions and increase the payload capacity multiple vehicles can be used to assist the load transportation. In this project we will address the theoretical aspects of motion control of single and multiple quadrotor vehicles transporting a load, building on results from nonlinear dynamic systems and control theory. We will approach the load transportation problem from a robustness perspective, where the load is considered as a disturbance on the nominal vehicle system, and also from a position control perspective, where the load dynamics are explicitly modeled in order to steer its position along a path. As the ultimate goal we aim to combine a leader-follower framework with the load transportation so that the multilift system follows a moving target. Envisioned applications include the transport of a camera array while following a subject of interest, allowing the creation of striking visual effects.


Funding: University of Macau

Dates: 2015 – 2018