Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering - (Ph.D.)


Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

First Advisor

Lu Lu

Second Advisor

Ian Sanford Fischer

Third Advisor

Zhiming Ji

Fourth Advisor

Cong Wang

Fifth Advisor

Samuel Lieber


In this dissertation, the design and control of a novel multirotor for aerial manipulation is studied, with the aim of endowing the aerial vehicle with more degrees of freedom of motion and stability when interacting with the environments. Firstly, it presents an energy-efficient adaptive robust tracking control method for a class of fully actuated, thrust vectoring unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with parametric uncertainties including unknown moment of inertia, mass and center of mass, which would occur in aerial maneuvering and manipulation. The effectiveness of this method is demonstrated through simulation. Secondly, a humanoid robot arm is adopted to serve as a 6-degree-of-freedom (DOF) automated flight testing platform for emulating the free flight environment of UAVs while ensuring safety. Another novel multirotor in a tilt-rotor architecture is studied and tested for coping with parametric uncertainties in aerial maneuvering and manipulation. Two pairs of rotors are mounted on two independently-controlled tilting arms placed at two sides of the vehicle in a "H" configuration to enhance its maneuverability and stability through an adaptive robust control method. In addition, an impedance control algorithm is deployed in the out loop that modifies the trajectory to achieve a compliant behavior in the end-effector space for aerial drilling and screwing tasks.



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