The stability and trajectory control of a quadrotor carrying a suspended load with a fixed known mass has been extensively studied in recent years. However, the load mass is not always known beforehand in practical applications. This mass uncertainty brings uncertain disturbances to the quadrotor system, causing existing controllers to have a worse performance or to be collapsed. To improve the quadrotor’s stability in this situation, we investigate the impacts of the uncertain load mass on the quadrotor. By comparing the simulation results of two controllers — the proportional-derivative (PD) controller and the sliding mode controller (SMC) driven by a sliding mode disturbance of observer (SMDO), the quadrotor’s performance is verified to be worse as the uncertainty increases. The simulation results also show a controller with stronger robustness against disturbances is better for practical applications.

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