Wednesday, September 14, 2016

TerraSwarm PI Vijay Kumar's Lab Develops Quadrotor with Onboard Navigation

As reported by IEEE SpectrumPopular Science, and Gizmodo TerraSwarm PI Vijay Kumar's Lab at the University of Pennsylvania has developed a drone capable of on-board navigation. Traditionally when quadrotors perform complex maneuvers, such as flying through narrow openings, it requires an expensive complex external motion capture system that relays information to the drone. TerraSwarm PI Vijay Kumar's Lab has developed a 250 gram quadrotor drone that accomplishes these tasks using a single camera and on-board sensing and computing.  This creates an opportunity for real world applications by enabling the quadrotor to perform these complicated operations outside a controlled laboratory setting.  The quadrotor can move at speeds of up to 4.5 m/s, with acceleration of over 1.5g, and roll/ pitch angles of up to 90 degrees. While the current design still requires that the location of obstacles, relative the drone's starting position, be provided in advance, the research team is working to integrate the drones camera into real-time planning and control framework in the future.

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