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MM-UAV Status Page

October 1-31st, 2013


  • Gantry playback of UAV motions
  • Insertion experiments


  • Test 2 - Gantry mimicking UAV motions with Cartesian-controlled end-effector performing insertion task with compliance

  • Test 1 - Gantry mimicking UAV motions with Cartesian-controlled end-effector performing insertion task

  • Gantry playing back log file of x-y-z positions and velocities of UAV flight

  • Position history (x-y)


September 1-30th, 2013


  • Conference paper writing (ICRA)
  • Gain tuning


  • Controller testing without manipulator attached

  • Marker tracking and arm articulation

  • ICRA 2014 Video Submission - Peg-in-hole testing, flight tests with arm articulation, z-control, and marker tracking

  • 3-DOF Arm, 1-DOF gripper, manual control

  • First flights - manual control, tethered power and communications, ROS infrastructure using mavlink and roscopter, 3 serially linked MX-28 Dynamixels implementing a spherical wrist (yaw, pitch, roll). Arm left un-actuated (not powered).

August 1-31st, 2013


  • Thesis writing
  • MM-UAV aircraft and arm development

July 1-31st, 2013


  • Progress toward a fast-IK solver
  • Simulation environment and testing


  • Simulink Block Diagram

  • Simulink Animation

  • Pick-and-place and peg-in-hole at the Larics Lab

  • Robotics Toolbox simulation model for MM-UAV


  • Visual servoing using motion capture and an ARTag marker

Video 1 - End-effector tracking a motion capture marker

Video 2 - End-effector tracking an ARTag

June 1-30th, 2013


  • Joint work with Matko Orsag to tune MM-UAV velocity and pitch controller


  • Peg-in-hole insertion using Cartesian impedance control

Video 1 - No UAV reaction

Video 2 - Contact force test with UAV reaction

Video 3 - Insertion and missed insertion with UAV reaction

  • Control Architecture


  • Applied pitch torque and UAV linear velocity


May 1-31st, 2013


  • Presented paper at ICRA conference in Karlsruhe, Germany
  • Presented paper at ICUAS conference in Atlanta


  • Picture - ICRA presentation


April 1-30th, 2013


  • Presented paper at TePRA conference in Boston
  • Built ROS Moveit package for MK2 Arm


  • Video1 - Moveit motion planning test

March 1-31st, 2013


  • Final TePRA paper submitted for publication
  • Final ACC paper submitted for publication


  • Video1 - Tool usage tests

tool1.jpg tool2.jpg

  • Video2 - Improved MM-UAV Gantry control through torque feedback
    • The torque sensors in the MK2 torso measure applied joint torque which is then added as a disturbance to a linear velocity reaction in the gantry

February 1-28st, 2013


  • TePRA paper accepted for publication
  • ACC paper accepted for publication
  • ICUAS paper submitted
  • Conducted torque profiling experiments
  • Attended conference call between ARL-DU-Drexel on MM-UAV collaboration


  • Video1 - MM-UAV Gantry control through torque feedback
    • The torque sensors in the MK2 torso measure applied joint torque which is then mapped to a linear velocity reaction in the gantry
    • Impedance control is currently enabled to allow for a push-pull on the aircraft

  • Images
    • Hose insertion testing and torque profiling

insert1.jpg Approach
insert2.jpg Movement
insert3.jpg Contact

  • Torque profile for elbow pitch joint


  • Video2 - MM-UAV tool usage
    • Arm easily grabs and drills a hole. Joint control is difficult through a joystick which is why the movements are jerky and slow

  • Video3 - MK2 impedance control testing
    • Elbow pitch and wrist pitch joints set with inertia, stiffness, and damping parameters

  • Video4 - MK2 RViz Simulation



January 1-31st, 2013


  • ROS-packages operational
    • /command messages and /joint_state feedback for 3-DOF torso, 7-DOF arm, and 4-DOF end-effector
    • Gantry control through /cmd_velocity messages
    • Gantry feedback through /tf published by motion capture system
    • CAD exported to URDF with RViz mimicing joint states
  • Mounted HDT MK2 Arm and Torso to 3-DOF Gantry
    • Arm consists of 7-DOFs to include shoulder pitch, roll, yaw; elbow pitch; wrist yaw, pitch, roll joints
    • 4-DOF end-effector has opposable thumb yaw joint, thumb pitch joint, index finger pitch joint, and ring finger pitch joint
    • Torque feedback on all joints. Finger actuators provide ~2 Nm of torque
  • TePRA paper submitted
  • ICUAS paper in-progress


  • Video1 - MM-UAV grasping test
    • End-effector easily provides enough grasping force for 1600g hose. Arm is joystick-operated to insert hose into pump.

  • Video2 - ROS and Rviz environment
    • ROS-package provides control of each actuator and sensor feedback updates robot and joint states in Rviz.

  • Still Images
    • Concept poses for potential MM-UAV tasks (all poses were done through tele-op control)

2013-02-05_21.12.48.jpg 2013-02-05_21.16.33.jpg
2013-02-05_21.08.42.jpg 2013-02-05_21.27.13.jpg


  • All actuators can be commanded with position/velocity/torque feedback. Impedance control has been tested but not implemented. Motion capture is operational. Gantry control through ROS.
  • Software infrastructure consists of ROS and OpenRAVE


  • Develop an ikfast plugin using OpenRAVE
  • Run a whole-body kinematic trajectory on MM-UAV
  • Implement aircraft model and attitude controller on gantry and gimbal
  • Implement impedance control on manipulator to provide active compliance during task execution

General Information

Mission Description

MM-UAV will focus on three classic control problems: peg-in-hole, value turning, and door opening. These task align with the DARPA Robotics Challenge Events 4, 7, and 8.

The first task under study is Task 8.

  • Task 8 - Connect cable or hose
    • Perception ability to locate and manipulation ability to make connection
    • Hose could be firefighting water hose or electrical cable
    • Will have to carry across terrain then connect


  • Hose installation

Main Focus

To complete the task, things listed below must be integrated.

  • Grasping
  • Manipulation
  • Lifting & Carrying
  • Flight Stability
  • Impedance/compliance control

Project Lead

  • Drexel Autonomous System Laboratory (DASL) directed by Dr. Paul Y. Oh, Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics, Drexel University
    • Kinematic & Dynamic motion planning for whole-body lifting and carrying
    • Whole-body motion control design

Contact info: Paul Y. Oh, Professor: [email protected], Christopher Korpela, Ph.D candidate: [email protected]

drexel_mm_uav_status.txt · Last modified: 2016/11/06 17:13 by dwallace