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See detailTrajectory Tracking for Aerial Robots: an Optimization-Based Planning and Control Approach
Sanchez Lopez, Jose Luis UL; Castillo Lopez, Manuel UL; Olivares Mendez, Miguel Angel UL et al

in Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems (2020), 100

In this work, we present an optimization-based trajectory tracking solution for multirotor aerial robots given a geometrically feasible path. A trajectory planner generates a minimum-time kinematically ... [more ▼]

In this work, we present an optimization-based trajectory tracking solution for multirotor aerial robots given a geometrically feasible path. A trajectory planner generates a minimum-time kinematically and dynamically feasible trajectory that includes not only standard restrictions such as continuity and limits on the trajectory, constraints in the waypoints, and maximum distance between the planned trajectory and the given path, but also restrictions in the actuators of the aerial robot based on its dynamic model, guaranteeing that the planned trajectory is achievable. Our novel compact multi-phase trajectory definition, as a set of two different kinds of polynomials, provides a higher semantic encoding of the trajectory, which allows calculating an optimal solution but following a predefined simple profile. A Model Predictive Controller ensures that the planned trajectory is tracked by the aerial robot with the smallest deviation. Its novel formulation takes as inputs all the magnitudes of the planned trajectory (i.e. position and heading, velocity, and acceleration) to generate the control commands, demonstrating through in-lab real flights an improvement of the tracking performance when compared with a controller that only uses the planned position and heading. To support our optimization-based solution, we discuss the most commonly used representations of orientations, as well as both the difference as well as the scalar error between two rotations, in both tridimensional and bidimensional spaces $SO(3)$ and $SO(2)$. We demonstrate that quaternions and error-quaternions have some advantages when compared to other formulations. [less ▲]

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See detailA Real-Time 3D Path Planning Solution for Collision-Free Navigation of Multirotor Aerial Robots in Dynamic Environments
Sanchez Lopez, Jose Luis UL; Wang, Min UL; Olivares Mendez, Miguel Angel UL et al

in Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems (2019), 93(1-2), 33-53

Deliberative capabilities are essential for intelligent aerial robotic applications in modern life such as package delivery and surveillance. This paper presents a real-time 3D path planning solution for ... [more ▼]

Deliberative capabilities are essential for intelligent aerial robotic applications in modern life such as package delivery and surveillance. This paper presents a real-time 3D path planning solution for multirotor aerial robots to obtain a feasible, optimal and collision-free path in complex dynamic environments. High-level geometric primitives are employed to compactly represent the situation, which includes self-situation of the robot and situation of the obstacles in the environment. A probabilistic graph is utilized to sample the admissible space without taking into account the existing obstacles. Whenever a planning query is received, the generated probabilistic graph is then explored by an A$^{\star}$ discrete search algorithm with an artificial field map as cost function in order to obtain a raw optimal collision-free path, which is subsequently shortened. Realistic simulations in V-REP simulator have been created to validate the proposed path planning solution, integrating it into a fully autonomous multirotor aerial robotic system. [less ▲]

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See detailA Fully-Autonomous Aerial Robot for Search and Rescue Applications in Indoor Environments using Learning-Based Techniques
Sampedro, Carlos; Rodriguez-Ramos, Alejandro; Bavle, Hriday UL et al

in Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems (2019), 95(2), 601--627

Search and Rescue (SAR) missions represent an important challenge in the robotics research field as they usually involve exceedingly variable-nature scenarios which require a high-level of autonomy and ... [more ▼]

Search and Rescue (SAR) missions represent an important challenge in the robotics research field as they usually involve exceedingly variable-nature scenarios which require a high-level of autonomy and versatile decision-making capabilities. This challenge becomes even more relevant in the case of aerial robotic platforms owing to their limited payload and computational capabilities. In this paper, we present a fully-autonomous aerial robotic solution, for executing complex SAR missions in unstructured indoor environments. The proposed system is based on the combination of a complete hardware configuration and a flexible system architecture which allows the execution of high-level missions in a fully unsupervised manner (i.e. without human intervention). In order to obtain flexible and versatile behaviors from the proposed aerial robot, several learning-based capabilities have been integrated for target recognition and interaction. The target recognition capability includes a supervised learning classifier based on a computationally-efficient Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) model trained for target/background classification, while the capability to interact with the target for rescue operations introduces a novel Image-Based Visual Servoing (IBVS) algorithm which integrates a recent deep reinforcement learning method named Deep Deterministic Policy Gradients (DDPG). In order to train the aerial robot for performing IBVS tasks, a reinforcement learning framework has been developed, which integrates a deep reinforcement learning agent (e.g. DDPG) with a Gazebo-based simulator for aerial robotics. The proposed system has been validated in a wide range of simulation flights, using Gazebo and PX4 Software-In-The-Loop, and real flights in cluttered indoor environments, demonstrating the versatility of the proposed system in complex SAR missions. [less ▲]

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See detailCollision Avoidance Effects on the Mobility of a UAV Swarm Using Chaotic Ant Colony with Model Predictive Control
Dentler, Jan Eric UL; Rosalie, Martin UL; Danoy, Grégoire UL et al

in Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems (2018)

The recent development of compact and economic small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) permits the development of new UAV swarm applications. In order to enhance the area coverage of such UAV swarms, a ... [more ▼]

The recent development of compact and economic small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) permits the development of new UAV swarm applications. In order to enhance the area coverage of such UAV swarms, a novel mobility model has been presented in previous work, combining an Ant Colony algorithm with chaotic dynamics (CACOC). This work is extending CACOC by a Collision Avoidance (CA) mechanism and testing its efficiency in terms of area coverage by the UAV swarm. For this purpose, CACOC is used to compute UAV target waypoints which are tracked by model predictively controlled UAVs. The UAVs are represented by realistic motion models within the virtual robot experimentation platform (V-Rep). This environment is used to evaluate the performance of the proposed CACOC with CA algorithm in an area exploration scenario with 3 UAVs. Finally, its performance is analyzed using metrics. [less ▲]

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See detailA Multi-Layered Component-Based Approach for the Development of Aerial Robotic Systems: The Aerostack Framework
Sanchez Lopez, Jose Luis UL; Molina, Martin; Bavle, Hriday UL et al

in Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems (2017), 88(2), 638-709

To achieve fully autonomous operation for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) it is necessary to integrate multiple and heterogeneous technical solutions (e.g., control-based methods, computer vision methods ... [more ▼]

To achieve fully autonomous operation for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) it is necessary to integrate multiple and heterogeneous technical solutions (e.g., control-based methods, computer vision methods, automated planning, coordination algorithms, etc.). The combination of such methods in an operational system is a technical challenge that requires efficient architectural solutions. In a robotic engineering context, where productivity is important, it is also important to minimize the effort for the development of new systems. As a response to these needs, this paper presents Aerostack, an open-source software framework for the development of aerial robotic systems. This framework facilitates the creation of UAS by providing a set of reusable components specialized in functional tasks of aerial robotics (trajectory planning, self localization, etc.) together with an integration method in a multi-layered cognitive architecture based on five layers: reactive, executive, deliberative, reflective and social. Compared to other software frameworks for UAS, Aerostack can provide higher degrees of autonomy and it is more versatile to be applied to different types of hardware (aerial platforms and sensors) and different types of missions (e.g. multi robot swarm systems). Aerostack has been validated during four years (since February 2013) by its successful use on many research projects, international competitions and public exhibitions. As a representative example of system development, this paper also presents how Aerostack was used to develop a system for a (fictional) fully autonomous indoors search and rescue mission. [less ▲]

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See detailA reliable open-source system architecture for the fast designing and prototyping of autonomous multi-uav systems: Simulation and experimentation
Sanchez Lopez, Jose Luis UL; Pestana, Jesus; De La Puente, Paloma et al

in Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems (2016), 84(1-4), 779-797

During the process of design and development of an autonomous Multi-UAV System, two main problems appear. The first one is the difficulty of designing all the modules and behaviors of the aerial multi ... [more ▼]

During the process of design and development of an autonomous Multi-UAV System, two main problems appear. The first one is the difficulty of designing all the modules and behaviors of the aerial multi-robot system. The second one is the difficulty of having an autonomous prototype of the system for the developers that allows to test the performance of each module even in an early stage of the project. These two problems motivate this paper. A multipurpose system architecture for autonomous multi-UAV platforms is presented. This versatile system architecture can be used by the system designers as a template when developing their own systems. The proposed system architecture is general enough to be used in a wide range of applications, as demonstrated in the paper. This system architecture aims to be a reference for all designers. Additionally, to allow for the fast prototyping of autonomous multi-aerial systems, an Open Source framework based on the previously defined system architecture is introduced. It allows developers to have a flight proven multi-aerial system ready to use, so that they can test their algorithms even in an early stage of the project. The implementation of this framework, introduced in the paper with the name of ``CVG Quadrotor Swarm'', which has also the advantages of being modular and compatible with different aerial platforms, can be found at \url{https://github.com/Vision4UAV/cvg_quadrotor_swarm} with a consistent catalog of available modules. The good performance of this framework is demonstrated in the paper by choosing a basic instance of it and carrying out simulation and experimental tests whose results are summarized and discussed in this paper. [less ▲]

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See detailA vision-based quadrotor multi-robot solution for the indoor autonomy challenge of the 2013 international micro air vehicle competition
Pestana, Jesus; Sanchez Lopez, Jose Luis UL; De La Puente, Paloma et al

in Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems (2016), 84(1-4), 601--620

This paper presents a completely autonomous solution to participate in the 2013 International Micro Air Vehicle Indoor Flight Competition ({IMAV2013}). Our proposal is a modular multi-robot swarm ... [more ▼]

This paper presents a completely autonomous solution to participate in the 2013 International Micro Air Vehicle Indoor Flight Competition ({IMAV2013}). Our proposal is a modular multi-robot swarm architecture, based on the Robot Operating System (ROS) software framework, where the only information shared among swarm agents is each robot's position. Each swarm agent consists of an {AR Drone 2.0} quadrotor connected to a laptop which runs the software architecture. In order to present a completely visual-based solution the localization problem is simplified by the usage of ArUco visual markers. These visual markers are used to sense and map obstacles and to improve the pose estimation based on the IMU and optical data flow by means of an Extended Kalman Filter localization and mapping method. The presented solution and the performance of the CVG\_UPM team were awarded with the First Prize in the Indoors Autonomy Challenge of the {IMAV2013} competition. [less ▲]

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See detailInterpreting Thermal 3D Models of Indoor Environments for Energy Efficiency
Demisse, Girum UL; Borrman, Dorit; Nuchter, Andreas

in Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems (2014)

In recent years 3D models of buildings are used in maintenance and inspection, preservation, and other building related applications. However, the usage of these models is limited because most models are ... [more ▼]

In recent years 3D models of buildings are used in maintenance and inspection, preservation, and other building related applications. However, the usage of these models is limited because most models are pure representations with no or little associated semantics. In this paper we present a pipeline of techniques used for interior interpretation, object detection, and adding energy related semantics to windows of a 3D thermal model. A sequence of algorithms is presented for building the fundamental semantics of a 3D model. Among other things, these algorithms enable the system to differentiate between objects in a room and objects that are part of the room, e.g. floor, windows. Subsequently, the thermal information is used to construct a stochastic mathematical model - namely Markov Random Field - of the temperature distribution of the detected windows. As a result, the MAP (Maximum a posteriori) framework is used to further label the windows as either open, closed or damaged based upon their temperature distribution. The experimental results showed the robustness of the techniques. Furthermore, a strategy to optimize the free parameters is described, in cases where there is ample training dataset. [less ▲]

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See detailAn approach toward visual autonomous ship board landing of a VTOL UAV
Sanchez Lopez, Jose Luis UL; Pestana, Jesus; Saripalli, Srikanth et al

in Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems (2014), 74(1-2), 113--127

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See detailMonocular Visual-Inertial SLAM-Based Collision Avoidance Strategy for Fail-Safe UAV Using Fuzzy Logic Controllers
Fu, Changhong; Olivares Mendez, Miguel Angel UL; Suarez-Fernandez, Ramon et al

in Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems (2014), 73(1-4), 513-533

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See detailA general purpose configurable controller for indoors and outdoors gps-denied navigation for multirotor unmanned aerial vehicles
Pestana, Jesus; Mellado-Bataller, Ignacio; Sanchez Lopez, Jose Luis UL et al

in Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems (2014), 73(1-4), 387--400

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See detailCross-Entropy Optimization for Scaling Factors of a Fuzzy Controller: A See-and-Avoid Approach for Unmanned Aerial Systems
Olivares Mendez, Miguel Angel UL; Mejias, Luis; Campoy, Pascual et al

in Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems (2013), 69(1-4), 189-205

The Cross-Entropy (CE) is an efficient method for the estimation of rare-event probabilities and combinatorial optimization. This work presents a novel approach of the CE for optimization of a Soft ... [more ▼]

The Cross-Entropy (CE) is an efficient method for the estimation of rare-event probabilities and combinatorial optimization. This work presents a novel approach of the CE for optimization of a Soft-Computing controller. A Fuzzy controller was designed to command an unmanned aerial system (UAS) for avoiding collision task. The only sensor used to accomplish this task was a forward camera. The CE is used to reach a near-optimal controller by modifying the scaling factors of the controller inputs. The optimization was realized using the ROS-Gazebo simulation system. In order to evaluate the optimization a big amount of tests were carried out with a real quadcopter. [less ▲]

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See detailA Hierarchical Tracking Strategy for Vision-Based Applications On-Board UAVs
Martínez, Carol; Mondragón, Iván; Campoy, Pascual et al

in Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems (2013), 72(3-4), 517-539

In this paper, we apply a hierarchical tracking strategy of planar objects (or that can be assumed to be planar) that is based on direct methods for vision-based applications on-board UAVs. The use of ... [more ▼]

In this paper, we apply a hierarchical tracking strategy of planar objects (or that can be assumed to be planar) that is based on direct methods for vision-based applications on-board UAVs. The use of this tracking strategy allows to achieve the tasks at real-time frame rates and to overcome problems posed by the challenging conditions of the tasks: e.g. constant vibrations, fast 3D changes, or limited capacity on-board. The vast majority of approaches make use of featurebased methods to track objects. Nonetheless, in this paper we show that although some of these feature-based solutions are faster, direct methods can be more robust under fast 3D motions (fast changes in position), some changes in appearance, constant vibrations (without requiring any specific hardware or software for video stabilization), and situations in which part of the object to track is outside of the field of view of the camera. The performance of the proposed tracking strategy onboard UAVs is evaluated with images from realflight tests using manually-generated ground truthinformation, accurate position estimation using a Vicon system, and also with simulated data from a simulation environment. Results show that the hierarchical tracking strategy performs better than well-known feature-based algorithms and wellknown configurations of direct methods, and that its performance is robust enough for vision-in-theloop tasks, e.g. for vision-based landing tasks. [less ▲]

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See detailOn-board and Ground Visual Pose Estimation Techniques for UAV Control
Martinez, Carol; Mondragon, Ivan F.; Olivares Mendez, Miguel Angel UL et al

in Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems (2011), 61(1-4), 301-320

In this paper, two techniques to control UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), based on visual information are presented. The first one is based on the detection and tracking of planar structures from an on ... [more ▼]

In this paper, two techniques to control UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), based on visual information are presented. The first one is based on the detection and tracking of planar structures from an on-board camera, while the second one is based on the detection and 3D reconstruction of the position of the UAV based on an external camera system. Both strategies are tested with a VTOL (Vertical take-off and landing) UAV, and results show good behavior of the visual systems (precision in the estimation and frame rate) when estimating the helicopter's position and using the extracted information to control the UAV. [less ▲]

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See detailVisual 3-D SLAM from UAVs
Artieda, Jorge; Sebastian, Jose M.; Campoy, Pascual et al

in Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems (2009), 55(4-5), 299-321

The aim of the paper is to present, test and discuss the implementation of Visual SLAM techniques to images taken from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) outdoors, in partially structured environments. Every ... [more ▼]

The aim of the paper is to present, test and discuss the implementation of Visual SLAM techniques to images taken from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) outdoors, in partially structured environments. Every issue of the whole process is discussed in order to obtain more accurate localization and mapping from UAVs flights. Firstly, the issues related to the visual features of objects in the scene, their distance to the UAV, and the related image acquisition system and their calibration are evaluated for improving the whole process. Other important, considered issues are related to the image processing techniques, such as interest point detection, the matching procedure and the scaling factor. The whole system has been tested using the COLIBRI mini UAV in partially structured environments. The results that have been obtained for localization, tested against the GPS information of the flights, show that Visual SLAM delivers reliable localization and mapping that makes it suitable for some outdoors applications when flying UAVs. [less ▲]

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See detailComputer Vision Onboard UAVs for Civilian Tasks
Campoy, Pascual; Correa, Juan F.; Mondragon, Ivan et al

in Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems (2009), 54(1-3), 105-135

Computer vision is much more than a technique to sense and recover environmental information from an UAV. It should play a main role regarding UAVs' functionality because of the big amount of information ... [more ▼]

Computer vision is much more than a technique to sense and recover environmental information from an UAV. It should play a main role regarding UAVs' functionality because of the big amount of information that can be extracted, its possible uses and applications, and its natural connection to human driven tasks, taking into account that vision is our main interface to world understanding. Our current research's focus lays on the development of techniques that allow UAVs to maneuver in spaces using visual information as their main input source. This task involves the creation of techniques that allow an UAV to maneuver towards features of interest whenever a GPS signal is not reliable or sufficient, e. g. when signal dropouts occur (which usually happens in urban areas, when flying through terrestrial urban canyons or when operating on remote planetary bodies), or when tracking or inspecting visual targets-including moving ones-without knowing their exact UMT coordinates. This paper also investigates visual servoing control techniques that use velocity and position of suitable image features to compute the references for flight control. This paper aims to give a global view of the main aspects related to the research field of computer vision for UAVs, clustered in four main active research lines: visual servoing and control, stereo-based visual navigation, image processing algorithms for detection and tracking, and visual SLAM. Finally, the results of applying these techniques in several applications are presented and discussed: this study will encompass power line inspection, mobile target tracking, stereo distance estimation, mapping and positioning. [less ▲]

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See detailAn Experiment for Truly Parallel Logic Programming
Efthivoulidis, G.; Vlassis, Nikos UL; Tsanakas, P. et al

in Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems (1996), 16(2), 169-184

Detailed reference viewed: 102 (1 UL)