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Rapid trajectory generation and failsafe strategies for quadrocopters: Towards safer micro aerial vehicles

Multicopters are predicted to increasingly become part of our everyday lives, with applications including delivery services, entertainment, and aerial sensing. These systems are expected to be safe and have a high degree of autonomy. An important aspect of autonomy is the ability to plan motions that fulfill high-level goals, which will be the topic for the first part of the talk. A quadrocopter trajectory generation scheme will be described which can evaluate and compare on the order of one million motion primitives per second. These motion primitives are designed to be fast to compute and verify (at the expense of optimality), while being flexible with respect to initial and final states. This allows to specifically encode highly dynamic tasks with complicated end goals.

The second part of the talk will cover some results on quadrocopter safety, specifically an algorithm that allows a quadrocopter to maintain flight despite the complete loss of some propellers. In particular, it is shown that such a vehicle remains controllable about hover even if only a single propeller remains operable. In addition to the failsafe aspect for quadrocopters, this allows for the design of novel vehicles, having fewer than four propellers.

Type of Seminar:
Control Seminar Series
Mark Müller
ETH Zurich
Oct 19, 2015   16:15

Contact Person:

Prof. Florian Dörfler
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Biographical Sketch:
Mark W. Mueller is currently a doctoral candidate with Prof. Raffaello D'Andrea at the Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control at the ETH Zurich. He received the B.Eng. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pretoria in 2009, and the M.Sc. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the ETH Zurich in 2011. He received awards for the best mechanical engineering thesis, and the best aeronautical thesis, for his bachelors thesis in 2008, and received the Jakob Ackeret award from the Swiss Association of Aeronautical Sciences for his masters thesis in 2011. His masters studies were supported by a scholarship from the Swiss Government.