Aerial Co-Manipulation with Cables: The Role of Internal Force for Equilibria, Stability, and Passivity

Marco Tognon*, Chiara Gabellieri, Lucia Pallottino, Antonio Franchi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


This letter considers the cooperative manipulation of a cable-suspended load with two generic aerial robots without the need of explicit communication. The role of the internal force for the asymptotic stability of the beam position-and-attitude equilibria is analyzed in depth. Using a nonlinear Lyapunov-based approach, we prove that if a nonzero internal force is chosen, then the asymptotic stabilization of any desired beam attitude can be achieved with a decentralized and communicationless master-slave admittance controller. If, conversely, a zero internal force is chosen, as done in the majority of the state-of-the-art algorithms, the attitude of the beam is not controllable without communication. Furthermore, we formally proof the output-strictly passivity of the system with respect to an energy-like storage function and a certain input-output pair. This proves the stability and the robustness of the method during motion and in nonideal. The theoretical findings are validated through extensive simulations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2577-2583
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Robotics and automation letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Aerial systems: mechanics and control
  • Distributed robot systems
  • Mobile manipulation
  • Multi-robot systems


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