Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Within reach: Engineers to add arms and hands to unmanned aerial vehicles

Date:
August 2, 2012
Source:
Drexel University
Summary:
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), such as those used by the military for surveillance and reconnaissance, could be getting a hand –- and an arm -– from engineers as part of a project to investigate adding dexterous limbs to the aircrafts. The project, whose subject harkens to the hovering android iconography of sci-fi movies, could be a step toward the use of UAVs for emergency response and search and rescue scenarios.

A gantry system, like the one pictured, will be used to test the robotic arms that could eventually be mounted on unmanned aerial vehicles.
Credit: Image courtesy of Drexel University

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), such as those used by the military for surveillance and reconnaissance, could be getting a hand -and an arm- from engineers at Drexel University as part of a National Science Foundation grant to investigate adding dexterous limbs to the aircrafts. The project, whose subject harkens to the hovering android iconography of sci-fi movies, could be a step toward the use of UAVs for emergency response and search and rescue scenarios.

The team, led by Dr. Paul Oh, a professor in Drexel's College of Engineering and head of the Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics department, will examine the reaction forces and torques associated with applying robotic arms to UAVs as part of his work in the Drexel Autonomous Systems Laboratory.

UAVs currently perform passive tasks such as gathering in-flight visual data and intelligence, tasks that are performed well above ground. Oh's team is looking at how UAVs might interact with objects at or near ground level. The group's research focuses on developing what the NSF calls "Mobile Manipulating UAVs" -with arms and hands capable of performing active near-ground tasks. Oh envisions a broad range of applications from infrastructure repair and disaster recovery to border inspection and agricultural handling.

"These types of aircraft will advance field service robotics for things like search and rescue and disaster mitigation," Oh said. "It could help with infrastructure repair; instead of hoisting someone up to a bridge, these robots might be equipped to fly up to the bridge and start welding."

The three-year $649,999 NSF grant will charge the group with challenges such as developing a a system that would allow the UAV to interact with objects without upsetting its own stability. Oh developed the proposal and he will be joined in the research by Dr. M. Ani Hsieh, Dr. James Tangorra and Dr. Jin Kang.

To better understand the forces and torques associated with the movements of limbs on a flying machine, Oh and his team intend to retrofit robotic arms and hands onto an adjustable gantry system that is configured to mimic a UAV's lateral and longitudinal movements. Using the data gained from the gantry testing, Oh hopes to eventually build a working prototype.

"Like all things that fly you want to make sure they don't crash, and as this type of flying robot starts manipulating things in its environment it can often destabilize the vehicle," Oh said. "This is a very challenging design problem that nobody else has ever really attacked."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Drexel University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Drexel University. "Within reach: Engineers to add arms and hands to unmanned aerial vehicles." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120802122315.htm>.
Drexel University. (2012, August 2). Within reach: Engineers to add arms and hands to unmanned aerial vehicles. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120802122315.htm
Drexel University. "Within reach: Engineers to add arms and hands to unmanned aerial vehicles." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120802122315.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Robotic Eyes' Helps Japan's Bipedal Bot Run Faster

'Robotic Eyes' Helps Japan's Bipedal Bot Run Faster

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 16, 2014) Japanese researcher uses an eye-sensor camera to enable a bipedal robot to balance itself, while running on a treadmill. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lockheed Martin's Fusion Concept Basically An Advertisement

Lockheed Martin's Fusion Concept Basically An Advertisement

Newsy (Oct. 15, 2014) Lockheed Martin announced plans to develop the first-ever compact nuclear fusion reactor. But some experts said the excitement is a little premature. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Confirmed Case Of Google Glass Addiction

First Confirmed Case Of Google Glass Addiction

Buzz60 (Oct. 15, 2014) A Google Glass user was treated for Internet Addiction Disorder caused from overuse of the device. Morgan Manousos (@MorganManousos) has the details on how many hours he spent wearing the glasses, and what his symptoms were. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Science Proves Why Pizza Is So Delicious

Science Proves Why Pizza Is So Delicious

Buzz60 (Oct. 15, 2014) The American Chemical Society’s latest video about chemistry in every day life breaks down pizza, and explains exactly why it's so delicious. Gillian Pensavalle (@GillianWithaG) has the video. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins