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RCopterX - Experimental Validation of a Distributed Leader-Follower MPC Approach on a Miniature Helicopter Test Bed


S. M. Huck, Marvin Rüppel, T.H. Summers, J. Lygeros

European Control Conference (ECC), Strasbourg, France

RCopterX is an indoor testbed for miniature remote controlled helicopters build at the Automatic Control Laboratory at ETH Zurich. The experimental setup includes modular custom control software, a hardware interface between a PC and radio-control signal transmitter, off-the-shelf miniature helicopters and an infrared vision system for global positioning indoors. Its purpose is to experimentally validate problems of UAVs performing multi-level controls, including stabilizing low level controls as well as testing of high level algorithms. The main features are the modular architecture allowing for multi-agent support and interchangeability of the vehicle hardware and control algorithms. For illustration, a reliable fast model predictive control (MPC) scheme for coaxial helicopters as well as the implementation of a formation control algorithm is described. The presented distributed leader follower MPC approach achieves reference tracking of the whole formation along with maintenance of the formation shape, by having the individual agents solve their own optimization problem based on information from their leader. Results of the experimental validation demonstrate the successful implementation and the multi-agent capabilities of the setup.

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% Autogenerated BibTeX entry
@InProceedings { HucEtal:2014:IFA_4583,
    author={S. M. Huck and Marvin R{\"u}ppel and T.H. Summers and J. Lygeros},
    title={{RCopterX - Experimental Validation of a Distributed
	  Leader-Follower MPC Approach on a Miniature Helicopter Test
    booktitle={European Control Conference (ECC)},
    address={Strasbourg, France},
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