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This is a PDF file of an unedited manuscript that has been accepted for publication. As a service to our customers we are providing this early version of the manuscript. The manuscript will undergo copyediting, typesetting, and review of the resulting proof before it is published in its final form. Please note that during the production process errors may(More)
This paper presents the main vision and research activities of the ongoing European project AIRobots (Innovative Aerial Service Robot for Remote Inspection by Contact, www.airobots.eu). The goal of AIRobots is to develop a new generation of aerial service robots capable of supporting human beings in all those activities that require the ability to interact(More)
The bipedal spring-mass model embodies important characteristics of human walking, and therefore serves as an important starting point in studying human-like walking for robots. In this paper, we propose to extend the bipedal spring-mass model with variable leg stiffness and exploit the potential of this model in order to mimic the human capability to(More)
In this paper, we present haptic teleoperation of underactuated unmanned aerial vehicles by providing a multidimensional generalization of the virtual slave concept. The proposed control architecture is composed of high-level and low-level controllers. The high-level controller commands the vehicle to accomplish specific tasks and renders both the state and(More)
In this study, we present the conceptual design of a fully-passive transfemoral prosthesis. The design is inspired by the power flow in human gait in order to have an energy efficient device. The working principle of the conceptual mechanism is based on three storage elements, which are responsible of the energetic coupling between the knee and the ankle(More)
In this work, we present a proof of concept of a novel variable stiffness actuator. The actuator design is based on the conceptual design proposed in earlier work, and is such that the apparent output stiffness of the actuator can be changed independently of the output position and without any energy cost. Experimental results show that the behavior of the(More)
Variable stiffness actuators are a particular class of actuators that is characterized by the property that the apparent output stiffness can be changed independent of the output position. To achieve this, variable stiffness actuators consist of a number of elastic elements and a number of actuated degrees of freedom, which determine how the elastic(More)
The goal of the paper is to present the foreseen research activity of the European project “SHERPA” whose activities will start officially on February 1th 2013. The goal of SHERPA is to develop a mixed ground and aerial robotic platform to support search and rescue activities in a real-world hostile environment, like the alpine scenario that(More)
This paper focuses on the modeling and control of a flying robot. The complete system, composed of a quadrotor unmanned aerial vehicle and a custom-made manipulator, has been designed for remote inspection by contact of industrial plants. The goal of this paper is to show the dynamical characteristics of the flying robot during tasks that require physical(More)
This article focuses on the design, modeling, and control of an aerial manipulator prototype, i.e., an innovative configuration consisting of a miniature quadrotor helicopter endowed with a robotic manipulator. The overall system is designed to accomplish operations that require physical interaction with the surrounding environment while remaining airborne.(More)