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Extending the Use of Power Tools to Aerial Robots for Infrastructure Repair

BEN CHESEBROUGH, DAVID MASCARENAS, DAVID GROW

Abstract


The use of UAVs for aerial inspection of infrastructure has many obvious advantages over manned approaches, including cost and safety. Prior work has included a variety of modalities for non-contact measurement such as basic computer vision, specific use of infrared or microwave wavelengths, and lasers to assess structural integrity. Here we use UAVs in a direct contact fashion for the sake of repair after inspection. The goal of this work is the repair of composite structures, such as wind turbine blades, which requires both precise and high-force manipulation of tools for the material removal (sanding and drilling) that precedes patching. Here we present the design of a customized delta manipulator along with analysis of the implications of linkage length on force production relative to tasks associated with composite structure repair.

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