Takeoff and Landing on Slopes via Inclined Hovering with a Tethered Aerial Robot

Marco Tognon 1 Andrea Testa 2 Enrica Rossi 1 Antonio Franchi 1
1 LAAS-RIS - Équipe Robotique et InteractionS
LAAS - Laboratoire d'analyse et d'architecture des systèmes [Toulouse]
Abstract : In this paper we face the challenging problem of takeoff and landing on sloped surfaces for a VTOL aerial vehicle. We define the general conditions for a safe and robust maneuver and we analyze and compare two classes of methods to fulfill these conditions: free-flight vs. passively-tethered. Focusing on the less studied tethered method, we show its advantages w.r.t. the free-flight method thanks to the possibility of inclined hovering equilibria. We prove that the tether configuration and the inclination of the aerial vehicle w.r.t. the slope are flat outputs of the system and we design a hierarchical nonlinear controller based on this property. We then show how this controller can be used to land and takeoff in a robust way without the need of either a planner or a perfect tracking. The validity and applicability of the method in the real world is shown by experiments with a quadrotor that is able to perform a safe landing and takeoff on a sloped surface.
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Marco Tognon, Andrea Testa, Enrica Rossi, Antonio Franchi. Takeoff and Landing on Slopes via Inclined Hovering with a Tethered Aerial Robot. 2016 IEEE/RSJ Int. Conf. on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Oct 2016, Daejeon, South Korea. ⟨hal-01350883⟩

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