A survey of single and multi-UAV aerial manipulation

Mohiuddin, Abdullah, Tarek, Taha, Zweiri, Yahya and Gan, Dongming (2020) A survey of single and multi-UAV aerial manipulation. Unmanned Systems, 8(2), pp. 119-147. ISSN (print) 2301-3850


Aerial manipulation has direct application prospects in environment, construction, forestry, agriculture, search, and rescue. It can be used to pick and place objects and hence can be used for transportation of goods. Aerial manipulation can be used to perform operations in environments inaccessible or unsafe for human workers. This paper is a survey of recent research in aerial manipulation. The aerial manipulation research has diverse aspects, which include the designing of aerial manipulation platforms, manipulators, grippers, the control of aerial platform and manipulators, the interaction of aerial manipulator with the environment, through forces and torque. In particular, the review paper presents the survey of the airborne platforms that can be used for aerial manipulation including the new aerial platforms with aerial manipulation capability. We also classified the aerial grippers and aerial manipulators based on their designs and characteristics. The recent contributions regarding the control of the aerial manipulator platform is also discussed. The environment interaction of aerial manipulators is also surveyed which includes, different strategies used for end-effectors interaction with the environment, application of force, application of torque and visual servoing. A recent and growing interest of researchers about the multi-UAV collaborative aerial manipulation was also noticed and hence different strategies for collaborative aerial manipulation are also surveyed, discussed and critically analyzed. Some key challenges regarding outdoor aerial manipulation and energy constraints in aerial manipulation are also discussed.

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