Skip to main content

An adaptive hierarchical control for aerial manipulators

  • Francesco Pierri (a1), Giuseppe Muscio (a1) and Fabrizio Caccavale (a1)

This paper addresses the trajectory tracking control problem for a quadrotor aerial vehicle, equipped with a robotic manipulator (aerial manipulator). The controller is organized in two layers: in the top layer, an inverse kinematics algorithm computes the motion references for the actuated variables; in the bottom layer, a motion control algorithm is in charge of tracking the motion references computed by the upper layer. To the purpose, a model-based control scheme is adopted, where modelling uncertainties are compensated through an adaptive term. The stability of the proposed scheme is proven by resorting to Lyapunov arguments. Finally, a simulation case study is proposed to prove the effectiveness of the approach.

Corresponding author
*Corresponding author. E-mail:
Hide All
1. Doitsidis, L., Weiss, S., Renzaglia, A., Kosmatopoulos, E., Siegwart, R., Scaramuzza, D. and Achtelik, M., “Optimal surveillance coverage for teams of micro aerial vehicles in GPS-denied environments using onboard vision,” Auton. Robots 33 (1–2), 173188 (2012).
2. Maza, I., Kondak, K., Bernard, M. and Ollero, A., “Multi-UAV cooperation and control for load transportation and deployment,” J. Intell. Robot. Syst. 57, 417449 (2010).
3. Maza, I. and Ollero, A., “Autonomous transportation and deployment with aerial robots for search and rescue missions,” J. Field Robot. 28 (6), 914931 (2011).
4. Merino, L., Caballero, F., Martinez-de-Dios, J., Maza, I. and Ollero, A., “An unmanned aircraft system for automatic forest fire monitoring and measurement,” J. Intell. Robot. Syst. 65 (1), 533548 (2012).
5. How, J., Bethke, B., Frank, A., Dale, D. and Vian, J., “Real-time indoor autonomous vehicle test environment,” IEEE Control Syst. Mag. 28 (2), 5164 (2008).
6. Civita, M. L., Papageorgiou, G., Messner, W. and Kanade, T., “Design and flight testing of an H controller for a robotic helicopter,” J. Guid., Control, Dyn. 29 (2), 485494 (2006).
7. Kim, H. and Shim, D., “A flight control system for aerial robots: Algorithms and experiments,” Control Eng. Pract. 11 (2), 13891400 (2003).
8. Ahanda, J. J. B. M., Mbede, J. B., Melingui, A. and Essimbi, B., “Robust adaptive control for robot manipulators: Support vector regression-based command filtered adaptive backstepping approach,” Robotica 36 (4), 516534 (2018).
9. Madani, T. and Benallegue, A., “Backstepping Sliding-Mode Control Applied to a Miniature Quadrotor Flying Robot,” Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Conference of the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society (2006) pp. 700–705.
10. Palunko, I. and Fierro, R., “Adaptive Control of a Quadrotor with Dynamic Changes in the Center of Gravity,” Proceedings of the 18th IFAC World Congress (2011) pp. 2626–2631.
11. Antonelli, G., Cataldi, E., Arrichiello, F., Giordano, P. R., Chiaverini, S. and Franchi, A., “Adaptive trajectory tracking for quadrotor mavs in presence of parameter uncertainties and external disturbances,” IEEE Trans. Control Syst. Technol. 26 (1), 248254 (2018).
12. Kendoul, F., Fantoni, I. and Lozano, R., “Asymptotic Stability of Hierarchical Inner-Outer Loop-Based Flight Controllers,” Proceedings of the 17th IFAC World Congress (2008) pp. 1741–1746.
13. Pounds, P., Bersak, D. and Dollar, A., “Grasping from the air: Hovering capture and load stability,” Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (2011) pp. 2491–2498.
14. Mellinger, D., Lindsey, Q., Shomin, M. and Kumar, V., “Design, Modelling, Estimation and Control for Aerial Grasping and Manipulation,” Proceedings of IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (2011) pp. 2668–2673.
15. Ruggiero, F., Lippiello, V. and Ollero, A., “Aerial manipulation: A literature review,” IEEE Robot. Autom. Lett. 3 (3), 19571964 (2018).
16. Kondak, K., Krieger, K., Schaeffer, A. Albu and Ollero, A., “Closed-loop behavior of an autonomous helicopter equipped with a robotic arm for aerial manipulation tasks,” Int. J. Adv. Robot. Syst. 10, 19 (2013).
17. Huber, F., Kondak, K., Krieger, K., Sommer, D., Schwarzbach, M., Laiacker, M., Kossyk, I., Parusel, S., Haddadin, S. and Albu-Schaffer, A., “First Analysis and Experiments in Aerial Manipulation Using Fully Actuated Redundant Robot Arm,” Proceedings of the 2013 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (2013) pp. 3452–3457.
18. Kondak, K., Huber, F., Schwarzbach, M., Laiacker, M., Sommer, D., Bejar, M. and Ollero, A., “Aerial Manipulation Robot Composed of an Autonomous Helicopter and a 7 Degrees of Freedom Industrial Manipulator,” Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (2014) pp. 2107–2112.
19. Antonelli, G. and Cataldi, E., “Adaptive Control of Arm-Equipped Quadrotors. Theory and Simulations,” Proceedings of 22th Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation (2014) pp. 1446–1451.
20. Fumagalli, M., Naldi, R., Macchelli, A., Forte, F., Keemink, A., Stramigioli, S., Carloni, R. and Marconi, L., “Developing an aerial manipulator prototype: Physical interaction with the environment,” IEEE Robot. Autom. Mag. 21 (3), 4150 (2014).
21. Kim, S., Choi, S. and Kim, H., “Aerial Manipulation Using a Quadrotor with a Two dof Robotic Arm,” Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (2013) pp. 4990–4995.
22. Orsag, M., Korpela, C. and Oh, P., “Modeling and control of MM-UAV: Mobile manipulating unmanned aerial vehicle,” J. Intell. Robot. Syst. 69, 227240 (2013).
23. Lippiello, V. and Ruggiero, F., “Cartesian Impedance Control of UAV with a Robotic Arm,” Proceedings of 10th International IFAC Symposium on Robot Control (2012) pp. 704–709.
24. Ryll, M., Muscio, G., Pierri, F., Cataldi, E., Antonelli, G., Caccavale, F. and Franchi, A., “6d Physical Interaction with a Fully Actuated Aerial Robot,” Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, IEEE (2017) pp. 5190–5195.
25. Arleo, G., Caccavale, F., Muscio, G. and Pierri, F., “Control of Quadrotor Aerial Vehicles Equipped with a Robotic Arm,” Proceedings of 21th Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation (2013) pp. 1174–1180.
26. Kannan, S., Bezzaoucha, S., Guzman, S. Q., Dentler, J., Olivares-Mendez, M. A. and Voos, H., “Hierarchical Control of Aerial Manipulation Vehicle,” AIP Conference Proceedings, vol. 1798, AIP Publishing (2017) pp. 17.
27. Caccavale, F., Giglio, G., Muscio, G. and Pierri, F., “Adaptive Control for UAVs Equipped with a Robotic Arm,” Proceedings of the 19th World Congress The International Federation of Automatic Control (2014) pp. 11,049–11,054.
28. Baizid, K., Giglio, G., Pierri, F., Trujillo, M. A., Antonelli, G., Caccavale, F., Viguria, A., Chiaverini, S. and Ollero, A., “Behavioral control of unmanned aerial vehicle manipulator systems,” Auton. Robots 41 (5), 12031220 (2017).
29. Ren, J., Liu, D. X., Li, K., Liu, J., Feng, Y. and Lin, X., “Cascade PID Controller for Quadrotor,” Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Information and Automation (2016) pp. 120–124.
30. Siciliano, B., Sciavicco, L., Villani, L. and Oriolo, G., Robotics – Modelling, Planning and Control (Springer, London, UK, 2009).
31. Nonami, K., Kendoul, F., Suzuki, S. and Wang, W., Atonomous Flying Robots, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Micro Aerial Vehicles (Springer, London, UK, 2010).
32. Caccavale, F., Chiaverini, S. and Siciliano, B.Second-order kinematic control of robot manipulators with jacobian damped least-squares inverse: Theory and experiments,” IEEE/ASME Trans. Mechatron. 2, 188194 (1997).
33. Chiaverini, S. and Siciliano, B., “The unit quaternion: A useful tool for inverse kinematics of robot manipulators,” Syst. Anal. Model. Simul. 35, 4560 (1999).
34. Muscio, G., Pierri, F., Trujillo, M., Cataldi, E., Antonelli, G., Caccavale, F., Viguria, A., Chiaverini, S. and Ollero, A.Coordinated control of aerial robotic manipulators: Theory and experiments,” IEEE Trans. Control Syst. Technol. 26 (4), 14061413 (2018).
35. Hsu, P., Hauser, J. and Sastry, S., “Dynamic Control of Redundant Manipulators,” Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, vol. 1, pp. 183–187 (1988).
36. Reger, J., Ramírez, H. S. and Fliess, M., “On Non-Asymptotic Observation of Nonlinear Systems,” Proceedings of the 44th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, IEEE (2005) pp. 4219–4224.
37. Caccavale, F., Marino, A., Muscio, G. and Pierri, F., “Discrete-time framework for fault diagnosis in robotic manipulators,” IEEE Trans. Control Syst. Technol. 21 (5), 18581873.
38. Park, J. and Sandberg, I., “Universal approximation using radial-basis-function networks,” Neural Comput. 3, 246257 (1991).
39. Khalil, H., Nonlinear Systems (2nd ed.) (Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 1996).
40. Aström, K. and Wittenmark, B., Adaptive Control, 2nd ed. (Addison-Wesley, Reading, Massachusetts, 1995).
41. Ioannou, P. and Sun, J., Robust Adpative Control (Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 1996).
42. Wang, C. and Hill, D. J., “Learning from neural control,” IEEE Trans. Neural Netw. 17 (1), 130146 (2006).
43. Tayebi, A. and McGilvray, S., “Attitude stabilization of a vtol quadrotor aircraft,” IEEE Tr ans. Control Syst. Technol. 14 (3), 562571 (2006).
44. Cano, R., Pérez, C., Pruaño, F., Ollero, A. and Heredia, G., “Mechanical Design of a 6-DOF Aerial Manipulator for Assembling Bar Structures Using UAVs,” Proceedings of the 2nd RED-UAS 2013 Workshop on Research, Education and Development of Unmanned Aerial Systems (2013).
45. ARCAS – Aerial Robotics Cooperative Assembly System. URL
46. Castaldi, P., Mimmo, N., Naldi, R. and Marconi, L., “Robust Trajectory Tracking for Underactuated Vtol Aerial Vehicles: Extended for Adaptive Disturbance Compensation,” Proceedings of 19th IFAC World Congress, vol. 19 (2014) pp. 3184–3189.
47. Sontag, E., “A remark on the converging-input converging-state property,” IEEE Trans. Autom. Control 48 (2), 313314 (2003).
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

  • ISSN: 0263-5747
  • EISSN: 1469-8668
  • URL: /core/journals/robotica
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 25 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 84 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 30th July 2018 - 18th August 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.