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Shaikh-Mohammed, J.; Alharbi, Y.; Alqahtani, A. Door-Opening Drones. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 17 June 2024).
Shaikh-Mohammed J, Alharbi Y, Alqahtani A. Door-Opening Drones. Encyclopedia. Available at: Accessed June 17, 2024.
Shaikh-Mohammed, Javeed, Yousef Alharbi, Abdulrahman Alqahtani. "Door-Opening Drones" Encyclopedia, (accessed June 17, 2024).
Shaikh-Mohammed, J., Alharbi, Y., & Alqahtani, A. (2023, December 19). Door-Opening Drones. In Encyclopedia.
Shaikh-Mohammed, Javeed, et al. "Door-Opening Drones." Encyclopedia. Web. 19 December, 2023.
Door-Opening Drones

Doorknob accessories, wheelchair-mounted door-opening accessories, door-opening robots, and door-opening drones—were used to group the various technologies for manually opening doors. Drones are unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with a wide range of applications, including product delivery, asset inspection, search and rescue, law enforcement and military services, disaster management, and emergency medical services. Drones are emerging as safe alternatives to humans in applications involving inaccessible environments or dangerous scenarios. In cases of medical emergencies, when a person is stuck in remote locations and an ambulance is unable to reach a patient in time, medical drones are being used for emergency medical services. Door-opening drones are unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) equipped with the capability to open doors.

door-opening drones

1. Introduction

According to the latest data from the World Health Organization (WHO), around 1.3 billion people, or about 16% of the world’s population, are estimated to live with some form of disability [1]. According to the United Nations (UN), around 80% of people with disabilities live in developing countries, and around 20% of the world’s poorest people have some kind of disability [2]. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), employment rates are lower for people with disabilities compared to non-disabled people, with employment rates for people with disabilities in some countries below 30% [3].
Wheelchairs are one of the most widely used assistive devices by people with disabilities. However, according to the WHO, it is estimated that only 5–15% of people worldwide who require a wheelchair have access to one [4]; in other words, around 20 million people worldwide need wheelchairs but do not have them [5]. Even those people who have access to a wheelchair face several accessibility challenges in their daily lives. Some of the challenges faced by wheelchair users are maneuvering through narrow doorways or passages, building entrances that lack ramps, high door thresholds, and accessing manual doors.
Narrow doorways require complex maneuvering skills for wheelchair users to enter without bumping into the door frame. Opening inward swinging doors (or pulling doors backward) requires backing up and proper positioning of the wheelchair with respect to the door, which could be a difficult task for some wheelchair users, especially in tight spaces with higher chances of collisions with walls. Also, high door thresholds (over 20 mm) increase the risk of tipping. Wheelchair users also need to apply greater force than other individuals to open several types of doors. Heavy fire doors, for instance, may be difficult to open and may close too quickly. Some wheelchair users may experience difficulty operating certain types of door handles, particularly if they have limited hand use.


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  2. United Nations. Factsheet on Persons with Disabilities. Available online: (accessed on 7 October 2023).
  3. International Labour Organization. Disability and Work. Available online: (accessed on 8 August 2023).
  4. World Health Organization. Guidelines on the Provision of Manual Wheelchairs in Less Resourced Settings; World Health Organization: Geneva, Switzerland, 2008; ISBN 978-92-4-154748-2.
  5. World Health Organisation. Wheelchair Service Training Package—Basic Level; World Health Organization: Geneva, Switzerland, 2012; ISBN 978-92-4-150347-1.
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  8. Moshref-Javadi, M.; Winkenbach, M. Applications and Research Avenues for Drone-Based Models in Logistics: A Classification and Review. Expert Syst. Appl. 2021, 177, 114854.
  9. Rosser Jr, J.C.; Vignesh, V.; Terwilliger, B.A.; Parker, B.C. Surgical and Medical Applications of Drones: A Comprehensive Review. JSLS J. Soc. Laparoendosc. Surg. 2018, 22, e2018.00018.
  10. Shahmoradi, J.; Talebi, E.; Roghanchi, P.; Hassanalian, M. A Comprehensive Review of Applications of Drone Technology in the Mining Industry. Drones 2020, 4, 34.
  11. JEREMY HSU Tiny Drones Team Up to Open Doors—IEEE Spectrum. Available online: (accessed on 4 August 2023).
  12. National Safety Council Drones—National Safety Council. Available online: (accessed on 4 August 2023).
  13. Sigari, C.; Biberthaler, P. Medical Drones: Disruptive Technology Makes the Future Happen. Der Unfallchirurg 2021, 124, 974.
  14. BRINC LEMUR 2. Available online: (accessed on 10 October 2023).
  15. Mechanical Engineering—Purdue University Boomcopter Is a Drone That Can Open Doors. Available online: (accessed on 4 August 2023).
  16. Mechanical Engineering—Purdue University Boomcopter: The Drone That Can Open Doors. Available online: (accessed on 4 August 2023).
  17. McArthur, D.R.; An, Z.; Cappelleri, D.J. Pose-Estimate-Based Target Tracking for Human-Guided Remote Sensor Mounting with a UAV; IEEE: Piscataway, NJ, USA, 2020; pp. 10636–10642.
  18. Lee, D.; Seo, H.; Jang, I.; Lee, S.J.; Kim, H.J. Aerial Manipulator Pushing a Movable Structure Using a DOB-Based Robust Controller. IEEE Robot. Autom. Lett. 2020, 6, 723–730.
  19. Brunner, M.; Rizzi, G.; Studiger, M.; Siegwart, R.; Tognon, M. A Planning-and-Control Framework for Aerial Manipulation of Articulated Objects. IEEE Robot. Autom. Lett. 2022, 7, 10689–10696.
  20. Cuniato, E.; Geles, I.; Zhang, W.; Andersson, O.; Tognon, M.; Siegwart, R. Learning to Open Doors with an Aerial Manipulator. arXiv 2023, arXiv:2307.15581.
  21. The Verge Micro-Drones with Winches Can Open Doors and Lift 40 Times Their Own Weight. Available online: (accessed on 4 August 2023).
  22. IEEE Spectrum “FlyCroTug” Drones Work Together to Open a Door. Available online: (accessed on 4 August 2023).
  23. Estrada, M.A.; Mintchev, S.; Christensen, D.L.; Cutkosky, M.R.; Floreano, D. Forceful Manipulation with Micro Air Vehicles. Sci. Robot. 2018, 3, eaau6903.
  24. Davis, B. BRINC Aims Lemur 2 and BRINC Ball at Police, SWAT. Available online: (accessed on 21 October 2023).
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