The Survey Paper “Past, Present, and Future of Aerial Robotic Manipulators” by Anibal Ollero, Marco Tognon, Alejandro Suarez, Dongjun Lee and Antonio Franchi has been published by the IEEE Transactions on Robotics, the flagship journal of the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society, the most important society in robotics worldwide.

The paper aims to be a reference for experts in aerial manipulation and people interested in aerial robots and unmanned aerial vehicles physically interacting with their environment. This scientific and technological field is experiencing a very high growth, demonstrating their application to inspection and maintenance, logistics, manufacturing, and many other operations involving manipulation in risky conditions for manned aircrafts or in difficult access workspaces for ground robots.

Anibal Ollero and Alejandro Suarez are members of the GRVC robotics laboratory of the University of Seville ( 

Abstract of the paper: This article analyzes the evolution and current trends in aerial robotic manipulation, comprising helicopters, conventional underactuated multirotors, and multidirectional thrust platforms equipped with a wide variety of robotic manipulators capable of physically interacting with the environment. It also covers cooperative aerial manipulation and interconnected actuated multibody designs. The review is completed with developments in teleoperation, perception, and planning. Finally, a new generation of aerial robotic manipulators is presented with our vision of the future.

Link to the paper (Open Access):