Control of statically hoverable multi-rotor aerial vehicles and application to rotor-failure robustness for hexarotors

Giulia Michieletto, Markus Ryll, Antonio Franchi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Standard hexarotors are often mistakenly considered 'by definition' fail-safe multi-rotor platforms because of the two additional propellers when compared to quadrotors. However this is not true, in fact, a standard hexarotor cannot statically hover with 'only' five propellers. In this paper we provide a set of new general algebraic conditions to ensure static hover for any multi-rotor platform with any number of generically oriented rotors. These are elegantly formulated as the full-rankness of the control moment input matrix, and the non-orthogonality between its null-space and the row space of the control force input matrix. Input saturations and safety margins are also taken into account with an additional condition on the null-space of control moment input matrix. A deep analysis on the hoverability properties is then carried out focusing on the propeller loss in a hexarotor platform. Leveraging our general results we explain why a standard hexarotor is not robust and how it can be made robust thanks to a particular tilt of the rotors. We finally propose a novel cascaded controller based on a preferential direction in the null-space of the control moment input matrix for the large class of statically hoverable multi-rotors, which goes far beyond standard platforms, and we apply this controller to the case of failed tilted hexarotor.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2017 - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)
Place of PublicationPiscataway, NJ
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-5090-4633-1
ISBN (Print)978-1-5090-4634-8
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event2017 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2017: Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Real-world Solutions - Singapore, Singapore
Duration: 29 May 20173 Jun 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)
ISSN (Print)1050-4729


Conference2017 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2017
Abbreviated titleICRA 2017
Internet address

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