AEROWORKS

About AEROWORKS

With ageing infrastructure and gradual expansion of distributed installations, the costs of inspection, maintenance and reparation have been growing incessantly. In order to reduce these costs and, next to this, to reduce the safety-risks for personnel, a major paradigm shift is required. Aeroworks envisions a novel aerial robotic team that possesses capabilities to autonomously conduct infrastructure inspection and maintenance, while providing an intuitive and user-friendly interface to the maintenance-workers and operators.

The Aeroworks Robotic team will consist of several heterogeneous "Collaborative Aerial Robotic Workers" (ARWs), which is a new class of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles equipped with manipulators.  These ARWs will perform novel physical interaction and co-manipulation, utilizing advanced control algorithms, perception systems and planning intelligence. The team will operate in an autonomous fashion.  The project aims for direct exploitation in the infrastructure services market and aims at demonstrating and evaluating the developed team in realistic and real infrastructure environments, with a clear focus on increased Technology Readiness Levels.

Partners

The project is performed in a Consortium consisting of 8 partners, both academic and private beneficiaries. Each of these partners has a specific role in the project.

These partners are:

Lulea University of Technology – LTU,
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology – ETHZ,
Royal Institute of Technology – KTH,
University of Twente – UT,
University of Patras – UPAT,
Ascending Technologies – ASC,
Alstom Inspection Robotics – AIR,
Skelleftea Kraft – SKL

Our role in the project

Our main role in the Aeroworks project is the development of the dexterous aerial manipulator. This includes the design of the hardware and electronics interface, as well as the control necessary for physical interaction of both single and multiple ARWs.  Next to this, we also work on the perception for manipulation as well as the planning of trajectories for the ARWs. This includes collaborative perception, mapping and vision for manipulation

Recent and current activities

In the first year, we have conducted research on highly dynamic aerial interaction, which resulted in the mechanical design of a manipulator capable of handling impacts.

Click here to see a movie

Next to this, a first prototype of the aerial manipulator was developed, which was compared to two manipulators developed by partners. Based upon results we will develop a second prototype.

On the topic of perception we have been working on collaborative localization of UAVs. Basically, this means one ARW assists another in localization.

Click here

Currently, we are working on new manipulator designs and improving our perception algorithms. Research on control for interaction has started also, as well as development and investigation on a new sensing method  for UAVs.

Ofcourse work is ongoing and an effort will be made to keep this page up to date with the latest activities.

Feel free to take a look at the project website. There you can find some cool videos on work performed by all the aeroworks partners. More information on the project can be found there.

The website can be found here

Project lead

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prof.dr.ir. Stefano Stramigioli

Participants

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Han Wopereis MSc