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Design Innovation Paper

Design of the Interacting-BoomCopter Unmanned Aerial Vehicle for Remote Sensor Mounting

[+] Author and Article Information
Daniel R. McArthur

Multi-Scale Robotics and Automation Lab,
School of Mechanical Engineering,
Purdue University,
West Lafayette, IN 47907
e-mail: dmcarth@purdue.edu

Arindam B. Chowdhury

Multi-Scale Robotics and Automation Lab,
School of Mechanical Engineering,
Purdue University,
West Lafayette, IN 47907
e-mail: abhanjac@purdue.edu

David J. Cappelleri

Multi-Scale Robotics and Automation Lab,
School of Mechanical Engineering,
Purdue University,
West Lafayette, IN 47907
e-mail: mdcappell@purdue.edu

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received September 21, 2017; final manuscript received December 17, 2017; published online January 29, 2018. Editor: Venkat Krovi.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 10(2), 025001 (Jan 29, 2018) (8 pages) Paper No: JMR-17-1306; doi: 10.1115/1.4038973 History: Received September 21, 2017; Revised December 17, 2017

This paper presents the design of the interacting-BoomCopter (I-BoomCopter) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for mounting a remote sensor package on a vertical surface. Critical to the design is the novel, custom, light-weight passive end effector. The end effector has a forward-facing sonar sensor and in-line force sensor to enable autonomous sensor mounting tasks. The I-BoomCopter's front boom is equipped with a horizontally mounted propeller, which can provide forward and reverse thrust with zero roll and pitch angles. The design and modeling of the updated I-BoomCopter platform is presented along with prototype flight test results. A teleoperated wireless camera sensor mounting task examines the updated platform's suitability for mounting remote sensor packages. Additionally, an autonomous control strategy for remote sensor mounting with the I-BoomCopter is proposed, and autonomous test flights demonstrate the efficacy of the approach.

Copyright © 2018 by ASME
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Figures

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Fig. 4

Push-to-release mechanism exploded view

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Fig. 2

Free-body diagram for the I-BoomCopter

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Fig. 1

I-BoomCopter UAV prototype for remote sensor placement

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Fig. 3

End effector assembly and exploded view

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Fig. 8

I-BoomCopter altitude control performance in altitude hold flight mode

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Fig. 5

Thrust versus RPM for different numbers of propeller blades

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Fig. 6

Thrust versus power for different numbers of propeller blades

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Fig. 7

(a) Wireless camera sensor package dimensions, (b) exploded view of sensor package components, and (c) 3D rendering of sensor package attached to I-BoomCopter's front arm

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Fig. 9

Experimental setup for the sensor mounting task

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Fig. 10

Placement error for five successful sensor mounting operations

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Fig. 11

Successful I-BoomCopter sensor mounting operation. Right column: view from onboard webcam. A video of this flight test is available at the website.3

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Fig. 12

Forward distance reported by sonar sensor

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Fig. 13

Force measured by end effector during impact

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Fig. 14

(a) Predefined target pattern and (b) tracking of a known pattern using onboard webcam. A bounding rectangle encloses the tracked pattern. The X, Y, and Z values shown are the distance from the center of the webcam frame (crosshairs) to the center of the tracked pattern (small circles).

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Fig. 15

Outline of EFSM for high-level autonomous control

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Fig. 16

Trajectory of I-BoomCopter during an autonomous sensor mounting task. The two lower squares indicate autonomously calculated position setpoints. Left inset: force applied to sensor against wall. Right inset: final position of mounted sensor just inside square (16 cm square indicates desired mounting region; 10 cm diameter circle is tracked by the onboard webcam).

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