Autonomous Robots

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 323–336 | Cite as

Construction with quadrotor teams

Article

Abstract

We propose a new paradigm for construction in which teams of quadrotor helicopters assemble 2.5-D structures from simple structural nodes and members equipped with magnets. The structures, called Special Cubic Structures (SCS), are a class of 2.5-D truss-like structures free of overhangs and holes. Quadrotors equipped with grippers pick up, transport, and assemble the structural elements. The design of the nodes and members imposes constraints on assembly, which are incorporated into the design of the algorithms used for assembly. We show that any SCS can be built using only the feasible assembly modes for individual structural elements and present simulation and experimental results for a team of quadrotors performing automated assembly. The paper includes a theoretical analysis of the SCS construction algorithm, the rationale for the design of the structural nodes, members and quadrotor gripper, a description of the quadrotor control methods for part pickup, transport and assembly, and an empirical analysis of system performance.

Keywords

Robotic assembly Aerial vehicles Aerial manipulation 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge Yash Mulgaonkar for assistance with the experiments and the fabrication of the parts and Professor Nathan Michael for help with the software interfaces and infrastructure.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Quentin Lindsey
    • 1
  • Daniel Mellinger
    • 1
  • Vijay Kumar
    • 1
  1. 1.PhiladelphiaUSA

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