Toward Aerial Physical Locomotion: The Contact-Fly-Contact Problem

Quentin Delamare, Paolo Robuffo Giordano*, Antonio Franchi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


In this letter, we consider the problem of letting an aerial robot exploiting its contact with the environment in order to enhance its motion possibilities, in a way reminiscent of legged robots exploiting contact forces for locomotion purposes. As a representative and initial case study, we consider a quadrotor equipped with a 1-degree of freedom (DOF) arm able to hook at some pivot points, and needing to perform a maneuver from an initial hooked configuration to a final hooked configuration while passing though a free-flight phase between the two anchor points. To this end, we propose a dynamical modeling able to capture the various phases (hooked, free-flying) together with an optimization framework for generating optimal motion plans compatible with actuation constraints. Simulation results illustrate the effectiveness of the approach and the promising potential in terms of more advanced maneuvers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1514-1521
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Robotics and automation letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Aerial systems
  • aerial systems
  • applications
  • mechanics and control
  • optimization and optimal control


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