LOCATOR - Lightweight and Low-Cost Autonomous Drone System for Overhead Cable Detection and Soft Grasping

Nicolai Iversen*, Oscar Bowen Schofield, Emad Ebeid

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalPaperResearchpeer-review

18 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Reaching and performing operations on overhead power line
cables is challenging and mainly carried out by helicopters
or foot patrol.
This paper proposes a light-weight and low-cost drone
platform for detecting overhead cables to autonomously
grasp them through an integrated soft gripper. The cable
detection system utilizes a pair of solid-state LiDARs with
differing field-of-views and a small onboard companion
computer to detect 38mm cables while maintaining accurate
alignment to perform grasping. A full drone airframe with a
soft gripper has been designed, analyzed and manufactured
to serve this work. A set of algorithms and software tools
have been developed to accomplish an autonomous drone
mission to reach a cable. The overall drone platform
(LOCATOR) has been tested and validated in simulation and
verified in an outdoor setup that reflects the real power
line infrastructure.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date6. Oct 2020
Number of pages8
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 6. Oct 2020

Keywords

  • Mechanisms
  • Manipulation
  • Embedded Control
  • Mechatronics
  • Aerial Robotics

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