Third Symposium on Indoor Flight Issues

The 2011 Symposium on Indoor Flight Issues was held on 9 August, 2011 adjacent to the campus of the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, North Dakota at the Center for Innovation. Links to the .pdf versions of the Symposium papers are provided below:
Georgia Tech Team Entry for the 2011 AUVSI International Aerial Robotics Competition
Girish Chowdhary, Daniel Magree, Dmitry Bershadsky, Timothy Dyer, Eohan George, Hiroyuki Hashimoto, Roshan Kalghatgi, Eric N. Johnson
Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, GA USA
This paper describes the details of a Quadrotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicle capable of exploring cluttered indoor areas without relying on any external navigational aids. An elaborate Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) algorithm is used to fuse information from a laser range sensor, an inertial measurement unit, and an altitude sonar to provide relative position, velocity, and attitude information. A wall-following guidance rule is implemented to ensure that the vehicle explores maximum indoor area in a reasonable amount of time. A model reference adaptive control architecture is used to ensure stability and mitigation of uncertainties. The vehicle is intended to be Georgia Tech Aerial Robotic Team's entry for the 2011 International Aerial Robotics Competition.
Development of 'Eagle Quad' quad rotor for the International Aerial Robotics Competition 2011
Christopher Kennedy, Christopher Sammet, Mohammad Ramli, Nicholas Roland, Kyeol Williams, Gene Gamble, Jordan Kaye, Dr. Charles Reinholtz
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Daytona Beach, FL USA
For the International Aerial Robotics ComGIT_2011.pdfpetition's (IARC) 6th Mission in August 2011, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) is sending a newly designed quad-rotor called Eagle Quad to compete. The quad-rotor is made with the latest 3D-printing technology with a material that is robust and light. The quad-rotor vehicle is both simple and very portable as it can be assembled and disassembled without difficulty. It will have a small laser range finder that can scan up to five meters, camera and a magnetic dredging tool to complete the flash-drive pick-up.
Design and Development of South Dakota School of Mines and Technology's Aerial Robotic Reconnaissance System
Randall Foudray, Jiayi Liu, Erik Kaitfors, Jordan Ritz
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Team
Rapid City, SD USA
The South Dakota School of Mines and Technology Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (SDSM&T UAV) Team will participate in the 2011 International Aerial Robotics Competition (IARC) with a single quadrotor helicopter. A stable commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) quadrotor is considered as the most appealing solution to complete the IARC. The purchased platform has been modified to autonomously locate and enter a one square meter opening, traverse a series of obstacles, and obtain and replace a USB flash drive. This is to be done within ten minutes while avoiding detection from devices such as cameras and laser barriers. To achieve the desired level of autonomy, a fused algorithm with visual odometry and monocular visual Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM), along with the vehicle's attitude estimation and path planning, is implemented. The appeal of the current platform is that it is alow-cost COTS solution to completing the IARC.
A Low Cost Indoor Aerial Robot with Passive Stabilization and Structured Light Navigation
Frank Manning, Christopher Miller, Tim Worden
Pima Community College
Tucson, AZ USA
The Pima Community College UAV Club has designed an air vehicle system to compete in the International Aerial Robotics Competition (IARC). The rules require an autonomous air vehicle to fly through an open portal into a cluttered indoor environment, search for a small flash drive and exchange the drive with a decoy while evading or deactivating various security systems. The mission deadline is between 5 and 10 minutes, depending on whether security alarms are triggered. The team designed a low cost air vehicle with a jellyfish configuration, on which a balloon stabilizer provides passive stability. Twin propellers suspended beneath the balloon provide lift, and a separate modular 2D thrust vector control system provides precise horizontal positioning, allowing the vehicle to respond rapidly to changes in HVAC air movement.
Autonomous Quadrotor for the 2011 International Aerial Robotics Competition
Daniel Ellis, Thomas Brady, Isaac Olson, Jessica Horowitz
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI USA
The Michigan Autonomous Aerial Vehicles team (MAAV) will compete in the 2011 International Aerial Robotics Competition (IARC) with a custom quadrotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). This vehicle is capable of autonomous, covert entry into, and navigation throughout, an unknown building using Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) algorithms. Using image recognition, the vehicle is able to recognize posted Arabic signs and a flash drive. A magnetic retrieval mechanism collects the flash drive while simultaneously dropping off a decoy. The entire mission will be completed in the allotted ten minute time frame.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle of BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus for the International Aerial Robotics Competition 2011
Saurabh Ladha, Deepan Kishore Kumar, Robin Singh ,Pavitra Bhalla, Anant Mittal, Aditya Jain, Anshul Upreti, Pratik Raju Joshi, Prof. Dr. R.K. Mittal, Dr. Anand Kumar
Birla Institute of Technology and Science
Pilani-Dubai Campus, Dubai, UAE
The Intelligent Flying Object for Reconnaissance (IFOR) is an autonomous aerial vehicle that has been developed by BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus students. The vehicle is capable of localizing itself using the SLAM algorithm, stabilize its attitude (pitch, roll and yaw) and altitude using PID controllers, plan paths around obstacles and navigate an unknown indoor environment with wall following guidance. In addition, it has been designed to be capable of pattern recognition which would enable it to recognize images and signs. These features enable the IFOR to execute the 6th mission of the International Aerial Robotics Competition, which involves scanning an unknown indoor arena protected by laser barriers and cameras, bestrewn with obstacles, in search of a flash drive.
Autonomous Navigation in Indoor Environment: Design, Implementation and Testing
Achal D. Arvind, Amogh Akshintala, Swaroop Narayan, Shashank Raghu, Shashanka L.
B.N.M. Institute of Technology
This paper deals with the autonomous navigation and control of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in an indoor (GPS denied) environment without any external aid. The presented solution splits the problem of indoor navigation into 3 modules, Stabilisation, Path planning and Image processing. These three processes are performed asynchronously and simultaneously to achieve indoor flight.
Charlotte Area Robotics Technical Paper for the International Aerial Robotics Competition
Onkar Raut, Suraj Swami, Anthony Harris, Malcolm Zapata
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Charlotte, NC USA
This paper describes the mechanical, electrical, and software design in the making of a quadrotor for the 6th Mission of IARC. It is required to build a robot capable of navigating in an unknown environment, locating and retrieving a USB flash drive, avoiding detection by the facility's security infrastructure, and returning safely to the starting location. The solution chosen for this design was to implement basic flight control and balancing algorithms on the on-board microcontroller and off-loading "processor intensive" processes such as pattern recognition and image processing to a remote computer via a wireless link.
Beohawk: Autonomous Quadrotor
Debjit Ghosh, Arti Hira, Rustom Jehangir, Christopher Li, Keith McKay, Yujia Zhai
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA USA
In this paper, we introduce a Micro UAV system that can explore an unknown indoor space without the assistance of a positioning system such as GPS. The robot receives sensor measurements from cameras, sonar, and an infrared depth sensor. Using SLAM, it handles the data probabilistically and generates a map of the environment, which is used for setting waypoints and avoiding obstacles. The mechanical construction of the vehicle, low-level control, and sensor communication are also discussed in the paper.
Co-Axial Helicopter for Autonomous Navigation and Exploration in GPS-denied indoor missions
Linus Casassa, Patricio Castillo, Gonzalo Vallejos, Frederik Knop, Tomas Arredondo
Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria (UTFSM)
Valparaiso, Chile
This paper details a Co-axial helicopter capable of autonomous navigation and exploration of unknown indoor areas without relying on any external navigational aids like GPS. The problem statement of the competition is reviewed as well as the overall system architecture that was implemented to solve this challenge. Motion vector and depth measurement data are gathered from cameras in the front and the bottom of the vehicle, in order to elaborate a Simultaneous Localization And Mapping (SLAM) algorithm. Each task of the helicopter runs on a separate process and is distributed according to its priority and each processing power between on-board and ground station devices. This vehicle is intended to be UTFSM team's entry for the 2011 International Aerial Robotics Competition.
Use of LIDAR for Obstacle Avoidance by an Autonomous Aerial Vehicle
Saurabh Ladha, Deepan Kishore Kumar, Pavitra Bhalla, Aditya Jain, Prof. Dr. R.K. Mittal
Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani-Dubai Campus
Dubai, UAE
In this paper we describe our work on developing an efficient and computationally light algorithm, tested on an aerial vehicle (quadrotor), to plan an efficient path around obstacles. The growth algorithm we have developed is capable of functioning in an absolutely unknown environment, where it is not possible to define the end points. Based on a minimum safe distance, dependent on the quadrotor's kinematics, and the minimum clearance width required the optimum path around obstacle/s is found. The algorithm performs particularly well when tackling multiple obstacles.
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