The scope of this chapter is the development of an aerial manipulator platform using an octarotor drone with an attached manipulator. An on-board spherical camera provides visual information for the drone’s surroundings, while a Pan-Tilt-Zoom camera system is used to track targets. A powerful computer with a GPU offers significant on-board computational power for the visual servoing of the aerial manipulator system. This vision system, along with the Inertial Management Unit based controller provides exemplary guidance in confined and outdoor spaces. Coupled with the manipulator’s force sensing capabilities the system can interact with the environment. This aerial manipulation system is modular as far as attaching various payloads depending on the application (i.e., environmental sensing, facade cleaning and others, aerial netting for evader-drone geofencing, and others). Experimental studies using a motion capture system are offered to validate the system’s efficiency.
Part of the book: Service Robotics