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A contribution to vision-based autonomous helicopter flight in urban environments

Muratet, Laurent and Doncieux, Stéphane and Brière, Yves and Jean-Arcady, Meyer A contribution to vision-based autonomous helicopter flight in urban environments. (2005) Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 5 (4). 195-209. ISSN 0921-8890

(Document in English)

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.robot.2004.09.017


A navigation strategy that exploits the optic flow and inertial information to continuously avoid collisions with both lateral and frontal obstacles has been used to control a simulated helicopter flying autonomously in a textured urban environment. Experimental results demonstrate that the corresponding controller generates cautious behavior, whereby the helicopter tends to stay in the middle of narrow corridors, while its forward velocity is automatically reduced when the obstacle density increases. When confronted with a frontal obstacle, the controller is also able to generate a tight U-turn that ensures the UAV’s survival. The paper provides comparisons with related work, and discusses the applicability of the approach to real platforms.

Item Type:Article
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:Université de Toulouse > Institut Supérieur de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace - ISAE-SUPAERO (FRANCE)
Other partners > Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris 6 - UPMC (FRANCE)
French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Laboratory name:
Deposited On:14 Mar 2008 13:24

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