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UltraSwarm: A Further Step Towards a Flock of Miniature Helicopters

By Renzo De nardi and Owen Holland


We describe further progress towards the development of a MAV (micro aerial vehicle) designed as an enabling tool to investigate aerial flocking. Our research focuses on the use of low cost off the shelf vehicles and sensors to enable fast prototyping and to reduce development costs. Details on the design of the embedded electronics and the modification of the chosen toy helicopter are presented, and the technique used for state estimation is described. The fusion of inertial data through an unscented Kalman filter is used to estimate the helicopter’s state, and this forms the main input to the control system. Since no detailed dynamic model of the helicopter in use is available, a method is proposed for automated system identification, and for subsequent controller design based on artificial evolution. Preliminary results obtained with a dynamic simulator of a helicopter are reported, along with some encouraging results for tackling the problem of flocking

Topics: Robotics
Publisher: Springer
Year: 2006
OAI identifier:
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