AEROARMS

Country
Spain
Sustainable development goals
  • Industry innovation and infrastructure
Project link
https://aeroarms-project.eu/

About the project

AEROARMS is the first aerial robotic system with heavy payload drones mounted multiple arms and advanced manipulation capabilities to be applied in industrial settings. The system is also equipped with perception and control capabilities to allow for autonomous inspection and maintenance.

More project information

AEROARMS is the first aerial robotic system with heavy payload drones mounted multiple arms and advanced manipulation capabilities to be applied in industrial settings. The system is also equipped with perception and control capabilities to allow for autonomous inspection and maintenance. This project, coordinated by Professor Aníbal Ollero, is based at the Center for Advanced Aerospace Technologies (CATEC) in Spain, one of Europe’s major research centres developing drone technologies and is developed in collaboration with the University of Seville, FADA-CATEC and the Technical University of Barcelona. Its core aim is to innovate the inspection and maintenance process for industrial plants, especially oil and gas facilities, making it safer, cheaper and more accurate than current human-labor reliant methods.

According to the executive summary of the project, the aim is to solve complex mechatronics, control, telemanipulation perception and planning problems. More specifically, new mechatronic designs and control methods are needed to implement the aerial robots with several arms for grabbing and flying operations. Advanced control strategies with force and vision feedback are also required for manipulation. Also new coordinated control strategies of the multiple arms and the aerial platforms are needed. Moreover, new perception methods, with ability to adapt to changing illumination conditions, are required for accurate local mapping and localisation in denied GPS industrial environment, grabbing and manipulation, and integration of sensory data to help the operation of the crawler. Moreover, reactive behaviours to increase safety, avoiding collisions with objects in the environment will be also implemented. Finally, AEROARMS relies on a deep learning architecture for precise aerial vehicle localization and crawler localization.

AEROARMS’ main products are its aerial robots equipped with: two arms for dual manipulation; manipulation platforms with tilted rotors for omnidirectional motion; fully autonomous operation capability guided by environment perception including 3D lasers for mapping and cameras for visual serving; and autonomous planning and reactivity with dynamic awareness. The complexity of their aerial robots generated much interest in prestigious robotic journals and conferences; in 2017 it won the Innovation Radar Prize, an initiative by the European Commission which selects high-potential innovations projects.

AEROARMS, funded by the European Commission program Horizon 2020 for Research and Development, contributes to SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure) as it sets the stage for a new generation of inspection and maintenance technology for industrial plants and also rescue missions where helicopters inadequate.