Investigation on performance improvement of a fully-actuated quadrotor

Document Type : Research Article


1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Textile Engineering, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran


Quadrotors provide exclusive performances like vertical landing and taking off, load carrying capacity, and possibility of remote control. A pertinent deficiency of them however concerns their underactuated configuration, which is one of the inherent characteristics of these robots. A dependency between different movements of quadrotor is unavoidable due to this characteristic. To eliminate the dependencies between linear and rotational motions and so increase the number of controllable degrees of freedom, a novel configuration has been presented for the fully-actuated quadrotor. The rotors have the ability to rotate around two perpendicular directions and two degrees of freedom have been added to the system. The motion dependencies between linear and angular degrees are omitted. To investigate the capability of the fully-actuated quadrotor, the novel configuration is introduced and the capabilities of this configuration in eliminating movement dependencies are discussed. To this end, after extracting the motion equations governing the fully-actuated quadrotor using Newton-Euler method and applying a proportional-derivative controller to the model, the performance of this configuration in eliminating the motion dependencies is compared against a conventional underactuated type. It is shown that this configuration is capable of eliminating motion dependencies to a great extent within various simulation results. Finally, by designing a back-stepping controller and applying different trajectories to the proposed fully-actuated quadrotor, its motion capabilities and limitations are thoroughly investigated.


Main Subjects

[1] I.B. Viana, D.A. dos Santos, L.C.S. Góes, Formation control of multirotor aerial vehicles using decentralized MPC, Journal of the Brazilian society of mechanical sciences and engineering, 40 (2018) 1-12.
[2] H. Kiaee, H. Heidari, Cooperative path planning for leader–follower formation of Multi UAV based on the minimum energy consumption for load transportation, Amirkabir Journal of Mechanical Engineering, 52(12) (2019) 3327-40.
[3] H. Heydari, Optimal Trajectory Planning of a Quadrotor Based on Minimum Effort, Amirkabir Journal of Mechanical Engineering, 51(1) (2019) 169-79.
[4] T. Omar, M.L. Nehdi, Remote sensing of concrete bridge decks using unmanned aerial vehicle infrared thermography, Automation in Construction, 83 (2017) 360-371.
[5] M. Becker, R.C.B Sampaio, S. Bouabdallah, V. Perrot, R. Siegwart, In flight collision avoidance for a Mini-UAV robot based on onboard sensors, Journal of the Brazilian society of mechanical sciences and engineering, 2(12) 2012.
[6] J. Zhang, J. Hu, J. Lian, Z. Fan, X. Ouyang, W. Ye, Seeing the forest from drones: Testing the potential of lightweight drones as a tool for long-term forest monitoring, Biological Conservation, 198 (2016) 60-69.
[7] A. Hernandez, H. Murcia, C. Copot, R. De Keyser, Towards the development of a smart flying sensor: illustration in the field of precision agriculture, Sensors, 15(7) (2015) 16688-16709.
[8] Z. Lu, F. Nagata, K. Watanabe, M.K. Habib, iOS application for quadrotor remote control, Artificial Life and Robotics, 22 (2017) 374-379.
[9] Z. Lu, F. Nagata, K. Watanabe, Mission planning of iOS application for a quadrotor UAV, Artificial Life and Robotics, 23 (2018) 428-433.                                                                                        
 [10] E. Cetinsoy, S. Dikyar, C. Hancer, K. Oner, E. Sirimoglu, M. Unel, M. Aksit, Design and construction of a novel quad tilt-wing UAV, Mechatronics, 22(6) (2012) 723-745.
[11] M. Zhao, T. Anzai, F. Shi, X. Chen, K. Okada, M. Inaba, Design, modeling, and control of an aerial robot dragon: A dual-rotor-embedded multilink robot with the ability of multi-degree-of-freedom aerial transformation, IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, 3(2) (2018) 1176-1183.
[12] D. Falanga, K. Kleber, S. Mintchev, D. Floreano, D. Scaramuzza, The foldable drone: A morphing quadrotor that can squeeze and fly, IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, 4(2) (2019) 209-216.
[13] M. Navabi, A. Davoodi, H. Mirzaei, Trajectory tracking of under-actuated quadcopter using Lyapunov-based optimum adaptive controller, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part G: Journal of Aerospace Engineering, 236(1) (2022) 202-215.
[14] H. Jokar, R. Vatankhah, Adaptive fuzzy global fast terminal sliding mode control of an over-actuated flying robot, Journal of the Brazilian society of mechanical sciences and engineering, 42 (2020) 1-18.
[15] A. Alkamachi, E. Ercelebi, Modelling and control of H-shaped racing quadcopter with tilting propellers, Facta Universitatis, Series: Mechanical Engineering, 15(2) (2017) 201-215.           
[16] Y. Nakamura, A. Arakawa, K. Watanabe, I. Nagai, An improvement of flight performance in the level flight of tilted quadrotors by attaching a fixed-wing, Artificial Life and Robotics, 24 (2019) 396-403.
[17] M. Kamel, S. Verling, O. Elkhatib, C. Sprecher, P. Wulkop, Z. Taylor, R. Siegwart, I. Gilitschenski, Voliro: An omnidirectional hexacopter with tiltable rotors, arXiv, 2018.
[18] S. Badr, O. Mehrez, A. Kabeel, A novel modification for a quadrotor design, International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS), 2016, pp. 702-710.
[19] M. Cutler, J.P. How, Analysis and control of a variable-pitch quadrotor for agile flight, Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement, and Control,  137(10) (2015).
[20] F. Senkul, E. Altug, Modeling and control of a novel tiltRoll rotor quadrotor UAV, International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS), 2013, pp. 1071-1076.                                                                                            
[21] M. Elfeky, M. Elshafei, A.W.A. Saif, M.F. Al-Malki, Quadrotor helicopter with tilting rotors: Modeling and simulation, World congress on computer and information technology (WCCIT), 2013, pp. 1-5.
[22] N.D.S Fernandes, Design and construction of a multi-rotor with various degrees of freedom, M.Sc. Thesis, Lisbon University, 2011.
[23] X. Xu, K. Watanabe, I. Nagai, Feedback linearization control for a tandem rotor UAV robot equipped with two 2-DOF tiltable coaxial-rotors, Artificial Life and Robotics, 26 (2020) 259-268.
[24] M.W. Spong, S. Hutchinson, M. Vidyasagar, Robot Modeling and Control, Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2006.
[25] G. Nandakumar, T. Ranganathan, B.A. Arjun, A. Thondiyath, Design and analysis of a novel quadrotor system-VOOPS, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2015, pp. 1692-1697.
[26] Y. Naidoo, R. Stopforth, G. Bright, Quad-Rotor unmanned aerial vehicle helicopter modelling & control, International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems, 8(4) (2011).         
[27] Y. Aslani Darandashi, Modification of the multi-rotors mechanical structure and design of a suitable controller for increase of stability & maneuverability, M.Sc thesis, Amirkabir University of Technology, 2020.