INSPIRE Archived Webinars


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Webinar Date

16 Mar 2022, 10:00 am


Current drones perform a wide variety of tasks in surveillance, photography, agriculture, package delivery, etc. However, these tasks are performed passively without the use of human interaction. Aerial manipulation shifts this paradigm and implements drones with robotic arms that allow interaction with the environment rather than simply sensing it. Many research groups have demonstrated aerial manipulation for various applications for over a decade. For example, in construction, aerial manipulation in conjunction with human interaction could allow operators to perform several tasks, such as hosing decks, drill into surfaces, and sealing cracks via a drone. This integration with drones will henceforth be known as dexterous aerial manipulation. However, there are still no implementation and adoption in practical applications.

To overcome this issue, we recently integrated the worker’s experience into aerial manipulation using haptic technology. The net effect was such a system could enable the worker to leverage drones and complete tasks while utilizing haptics on the task site remotely. However, the tasks were completed within the operator’s line-of-sight. Until now, immersive AR/VR frameworks has rarely been integrated in aerial manipulation. Yet, such a framework allows the drones to embody and transport the operator’s senses, actions, and presence to a remote location in real-time. Thus, AR/VR technology enables the operator to leverage their intelligence to collaboratively perform desired tasks anytime, anywhere with a drone that possesses great dexterity. Finally, the operator can both physically interact with the environment and socially interact with actual workers on the worksite. Toward this vision, this work presents aerial manipulation using embodied human intelligence.


Dr. Dongbin Kim is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He is also a lab manager at Drones and Autonomous Systems Lab (Director, Dr. Paul Oh). In 2021, he received a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, under Dr. Paul Oh, former National Science Foundation (NSF) Robotics Program Director. His PhD research project was to develop a Mobile Manipulating Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (MM-UAV) for bridge inspection and maintenance with support from the United States Department of Transportation (US-DOT) Inspecting and Preserving Through Robotic Exploration University Transportation Center (INSPIRE-UTC). He received the best presentation award from US-DOT INSPIRE-UTC annual meeting in 2021. He is an active volunteer of IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS). He was the creator of IROS On-Demand, the innovative conference platform which hosted 25,000 international attendees during the pandemic. With this outstanding performance, he serves as one of the organizing committees for the flagship robotics conference, ICRA, and IROS. He also received the best student award and innovation finalist from the Society of Laboratory Automation and Screening in 2018. In 2016, He was selected as an honored student from the WEST program, the joint internship program by the United States Department of States and Korea Ministry of Education. His current research interests include Aerial Manipulation, Embodied Human Intelligence, Augmented/Virtual Reality (AR/VR), Haptics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Human Behavior and Human Stiffness


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

INSPIRE - University Transportation Center


This project was partially funded by the INSPIRE University Transportation Center (UTC). Financial support for INSPIRE UTC projects is provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology (USDOT/OST-R) under Grant No. 69A3551747126 through INSPIRE University Transportation Center at Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Document Type

Video - Presentation

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Final Version

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