Towards Enabling Remote Telemanipulation by Uncrewed Aerial Systems (UAS) in Unknown Environments


Emerging applications indicate that physical interaction and manipulation with remote environments will be increasingly important tasks for small, uncrewed aerial systems (UAS), particularly in applications such as environmental sampling and infrastructure testing. Broadly speaking, however, most UAS manipulation tasks are not yet fully autonomous due to challenges in perception and control, thus the availability of a human operator to monitor and intervene during telemanipulation remains essential. However, how to most effectively enable remote telemanipulation by a semiautonomous human-UAS team remains an open question. This work addresses this question by taking a hybrid autonomy approach to utilize the system’s autonomous capabilities while taking advantage of the domain expertise of the operator when the remote environment is unknown. Specifically, this work focuses both on control development and human-robot interface design for a UAS manipulation system and their effects on telemanipulation task performance. Results from this work indicate that successful remote manipulation is possible by non-expert users, although experimental validation in multiple domains is needed. The practical contributions of this work aim to expedite the use of aerial manipulation technologies by scientists, researchers, and stakeholders, particularly in the civil, environmental, and agricultural domains, who will directly benefit from improved manipulating UAS performance.

Jul 12, 2020 10:45 AM
Assistant Professor of Biological and Agricultural Engineering