Research ArticleANIMAL ROBOTS

Perching and resting—A paradigm for UAV maneuvering with modularized landing gears

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Science Robotics  13 Mar 2019:
Vol. 4, Issue 28, eaau6637
DOI: 10.1126/scirobotics.aau6637
  • Fig. 1 Example perching and resting actions in nature.

    Flying animals such as birds or bats often make use of structures in the environment to save energy. In choosing, they select locations that can be approached and evacuated by simply maneuvering in the air while still allowing them to execute a mission such as observing the environment or looking for prey.

    Photo credits (left to right):,,
  • Fig. 2 Example actions with vision-based perching and resting location detection.

    (A) Laboratory environment and detected perching and resting locations. (B) Perching by hooking on a thin board (PH). (C) Resting by hooking on a stick (RH). (D) Perching by grasping around a stick (PG).

  • Fig. 3 An example landing gear design for DJI F450.

    (A) Example of the modularized landing gear design consisting of a base, three fingers, and three different contact modules. (B) Example of the installation of the designed modules on a DJI F450 platform. (C) Example perching and resting actions using different contact modules or the actuated gripper module.

  • Fig. 4 Example resting actions with vision-based perching and resting location detection.

    (A) Resting on a box’s edge (RE). (B) Stand-resting on a stick (RS).

  • Fig. 5 Power consumption and stability evaluation results.

    For measuring the power consumption, we took the measurement directly from the motors without considering the power consumed by other electronics. On each box plot, the central mark indicates the median, and the bottom and top edges of the box indicate the 25th and 75th percentiles, respectively. The whiskers extend to the most extreme data points not considered outliers, and the outliers are plotted individually using the “+” symbol.

  • Fig. 6 Example view ranges of different perching and resting actions.

    The top row shows various perching and resting actions, with arrows indicating which rotors are still working for generating lift. The bottom row shows the corresponding view ranges rendered by green cones.

  • Fig. 7 Flowchart of the hybrid system for perching and resting location detection.
  • Fig. 8 Example contact area extraction for automatic contact module design.

    (A) Extraction of a contact area (red) based on the specified contact pose and size. (B) Shape primitives (black) and extracted contact areas (clustered in blue and yellow) used in the contact module design in this work. (C) Contact modules designed in terms of the clustered contact areas.

Supplementary Materials

  • Supplementary Materials

    The PDF file includes:

    • Appendix S1. Flight controller design.
    • Table S1. Weights of parts.
    • References (57, 58)

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    Other Supplementary Material for this manuscript includes the following:

    • Movie S1 (.mp4 format). Perching and resting actions test.

    Files in this Data Supplement:

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