Roofing drone nails down shingles

September 23, 2019
The roofing octocopter, equipped with a nail gun, is parked near the mock roof. By setting the wooden panel at different inclines, the researchers simulated roofs with different slopes. Image credit: Matthew Romano, Michigan Robotics.

An octocopter capable of attaching asphalt shingles to roofs with a nail gun has been demonstrated at the University of Michigan’s M-Air, an outdoor autonomous system testing lab.

This aerial vehicle can position the nail gun, place the nail, and move to the next point without needing a human at the controls.

“For me, the biggest excitement of this work is in recognizing that autonomous, useful, physical interaction and construction tasks are possible with drones,” said Ella Atkins, a professor of aerospace engineering and robotics.

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High-performance contouring control of robots

October 6, 2014

High-performance position control algorithms for multi-axis servo-systems (such as robots), due to presence of asymmetric dynamics and disturbance, do not guarantee high-precision contour following. Dr. Azad Ghaffari and Prof. Galip Ulsoy have developed a new method, which uses dynamic contour error estimation and couples the axes in such multi-axis servo-systems, with integral sliding mode controllers, to reduce contour errors by at least an order of magnitude, even for complex contours and high-speed operations. The work has just been submitted for presentation at the American Control Conference to be held in Chicago during June 2015.