Aerial Robots Contacting Objects in Dynamic Environments (2013–2017)
Robot aircraft that can physically interact with their surroundings can perform useful tasks beyond the passive observation role played by current unmanned aerial vehicles. This project will contribute to the fundamental science and technology needed to enable new aerial manipulation capabilities by developing control methods and mechanisms to maintain stable aircraft flight during contact and interaction with surroundings. New user interfaces will enable operators to detect and respond to vehicles touching surfaces and objects. The results of the project will allow remote pilots to bring aircraft into contact with objects and surfaces to perform tasks impossible with existing aerial robot systems.