Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name



Electrical Engineering

First Advisor

Richard Voyles, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Kimon Valavanis

Third Advisor

Mohammad H. Mahoor

Fourth Advisor

Anneliese Andrews


Manipulation, Unmanned aerial vehicle, Mobile manipulation


Mobile manipulation is a hot area of study in robotics as it unites the two classes of robots: locomotors and manipulators. An emerging niche in the field of mobile manipulation is aerial mobile manipulation. Although there has been a fair amount of study of free-flying satellites with graspers, the more recent trend has been to outfit UAVs with graspers to assist various manipulation tasks. While this recent work has yielded impressive results, it is hampered by a lack of appropriate testbeds for aerial mobile manipulation, similar to the state of ground-based mobile manipulation a decade ago. Typical helicopters or quadrotors cannot instantaneously resist or apply an arbitrary force in the plane perpendicular to the rotor axis, which makes them inadequate for complex mobile manipulation tasks. Based on the concept of force closure (a term from the dexterous manipulation community), this thesis introduces the new type of dexterous, 6-DoF UAV which provides the unique capability of being able to resist any applied wrench, or generalized force-torque. In this thesis, we describe the importance of force closure for mobile manipulation, explain why it is lacking in current UAV platforms, and describe how our hexrotor provides this important capability as well as exhibiting holonomic behavior.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.


Received from ProQuest

Rights holder

Guangying Jiang

File size

63 p.

File format






Included in

Robotics Commons