One important issue of multirotor UAVs is their limited operational time due to their high power consumption. This issue may hinder the application of aerial robots for security purposes as their flight endurance can be exploited for just a finite amount of time, which is not necessarily sufficient in realistic surveillance scenarios. In order to achieve long endurance missions with multirotor UAVs, e.g. for crowd-surveillance, it can be beneficial to perch the UAV while it is operative to increase the operation time. This work presents an aerial manipulator that allows for reliable and reversible perching of multirotor UAVs on smooth vertical surfaces, using a lightweight mechanism based on passive vacuum-cup technology and the absorption of aerial impacts. This contributes towards enabling drones to become more flexible security systems for long endurance missions, as it allows them to position themselves passively in the environment. In this work, the design of the aerial perching mechanism is presented, as well as the perching strategy performed to achieve reliable perching. Experimental results demonstrate the relevant capabilities of the system for a drone weighing approximately 1.8 kg, including stable perching on the environment, disarming the rotors and reliable take-off.
|Publisher||IEEE Robotics and Automation Society|
- EC Grant Agreement nr.: FP7/644128