Aerial Physical Interaction (APhI) is a case, in which the aerial robot exerts meaningful forces and torques (wrench) to its environment while preserving its stable flight. In this case, the robot does not try avoiding every obstacle in its environment, but prepare itself for embracing the effect of a physical interaction, furthermore turn this interaction into some meaningful robotic tasks. Aerial manipulation can be considered as a subset of APhI, where the flying robot is designed and controlled in purpose of manipulating its environment. A clear motivation of using aerial robots for physical interaction, is to benefit their great workspace and agility. Moreover, developing robots that can perform not only APhI but also aerial manipulation can bring the great workspace of the flying robots together with the vast dexterity of the manipulating arms.
This thesis work is addressing the design, modeling and control problem of these aerial robots for the purpose of physical interaction and manipulation. Using the nonlinear mathematical models of the robots at hand, in this thesis several different control methods (IDA-PBC, Exact Linearization, Differential Flatness Based Control) for APhI and aerial manipulation tasks have been developed and proposed. Furthermore, novel design tools (e.g. new rigid/elastic manipulating arms, hardware, software) to be used together with miniature aerial robots are presented within this thesis, which contributes to the robotics society not only in terms of concrete theory but also practical implementation and experimental robotics.
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