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Conference Paper

The flying hand: A formation of UAVs for cooperative aerial tele-manipulation

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Goioso, G., Franchi, A., Salvietti, G., Scheggi, S., & Prattichizzo, C. (2014). The flying hand: A formation of UAVs for cooperative aerial tele-manipulation. In IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2014) (pp. 4335-4341). Piscataway, NJ, USA: IEEE.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0027-80AA-3
The flying hand is a robotic hand consisting of a swarm of UAVs able to grasp an object where each UAV contributes to the grasping task with a single contact point at the tooltip. The swarm of robots is teleoperated by a human hand whose fingertip motions are tracked, e.g., using an RGB-D camera. We solve the kinematic dissimilarity of this unique master-slave system using a multi-layered approach that includes: a hand interpreter that translates the fingertip motion in a desired motion for the object to be manipulated; a mapping algorithm that transforms the desired object motions into a suitable set of virtual points deviating from the planned contact points; a compliant force control for the case of quadrotor UAVs that allows to use them as indirect 3D force effectors. Visual feedback is also used as sensory substitution technique to provide a hint on the internal forces exerted on the object. We validate the approach with several human-in-the-loop simulations including the full physical model of the object, contact points and UAVs.