In-Air Exchange of Small Payloads Between Multirotor Aerial Systems

Ajay Shankar, Sebastian Elbaum, Carrick Detweiler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Exchanging payloads between multiple vehicles is a challenging problem that finds applications in sustained monitoring and long-range payload transportation. In this paper, we take the problem one step further and explore the design and implementation of a system of aerial vehicles that can exchange a small cargo/payload while air-borne. The proposed approach exploits the hover-capabilities of multirotor vehicles, and works within the constraints and the challenges imposed by such a task (such as proximity and contact forces). It is also portable to a wide range of vehicles, and does not require custom flight maneuvers in order to be viable. A simulation framework is utilized to highlight the key challenges addressed by the system. We present detailed results from experiments conducted outdoors that demonstrate two vehicles exchanging a small 60 g payload unit between them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpringer Proceedings in Advanced Robotics
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages13
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NameSpringer Proceedings in Advanced Robotics
ISSN (Print)2511-1256
ISSN (Electronic)2511-1264

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics


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