Physical Human-Aerial Robot Interaction and Collaboration: Exploratory Results and Lessons Learned

1. Description

The objective of this work is to develop the first collaborative aerial manipulator.

The objective is providing assistance to the workers at height with flying co-bots that can perform safe physical human-robot interaction.

This project was in the scope of the EU horizon 2020 project "Aerial Core".

2. Experiments

The experiments were conducted in the indoor arena at Robotics and Mechatronics (RaM) Department in the University of Twente. A picture is provided in the following.

Figure 1. Picture taken during the experiments.

The figure above shows the moment in which the human operator physically interact with the aerial manipulator. The robot is driven to a desired location by the action exerted by the human operator at the tip of its robotic arm.

The robot used for the experimental campaign is a custom-designed aerial manipulator. It is a fully-actuated hexa-rotor equipped with a 3-degrees-of-freedom robotic arm, as shown in the figure below.

Picture of the aerial manipulator.
Figure 2. Picture of the aerial manipulator.

3. Technical details

The developed control architecture is in MATLAB and Simulink.

We rely on the Telekyb3 architecture to communicate with the low-level hardware mounted on the robot.


Amr Afifi[1], Gianluca Corsini[2], Quentin Sablé[1], Youssef Aboudorra[1], Daniel Sidobre[2], Antonio Franchi[1][2][3]

Cite as:

A. Afifi, G. Corsini, Q. Sablé, Y. Aboudorra, D. Sidobre, A. Franchi, "Physical Human-Aerial Robot Interaction and Collaboration: Exploratory Results and Lessons Learned", in The 2023 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS 2023), Jun 2023, Warsaw, Poland. doi:10.1109/ICUAS57906.2023.10156609


Aerial Robotics; physical Human-Aerial Robot Interaction; Human-Robot Interaction; Wrench Observer; Admittance Filter

1. EEMCS - Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science.
2. LAAS-RIS - Équipe Robotique et InteractionS.
3. DIAG UNIROMA - Dipartimento di Ingegneria informatica automatica e gestionale.