Aerial Inspection Robotics

The goal of this project is the development of a new generation of aerial service robots to support humans to interact actively and safely with the environment. Inspection of large, inaccessible and hazardous industrial infrastructure is one of many applications. Aeromechanical design, modeling and control, and egomotion and mapping are the fundamental building blocks of such vehicles.

Modeling and Control

A new type of coaxial rotor VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) vehicle has been developed recently within the scope of the AIRobots project. Two counter rotating rotors driven by a single brushless dc-motor and controlled via a collective/cyclic pitch mixing swashplate, a Bell-Hiller flybar as well as a stabilizer bar define the configuration of this aerial vehicle. To understand the complex nature of the involved mechanisms and their respective interactions, a thorough mathematical description of the involved dynamic systems is required. Modeling Coaxial Rotorcrafts

Aerial Vehicles

Three types of aerial vehicles are currently being developed or already in use: A quadrotor, a coaxial configuration and a ducted fan.

Aerial Vehicle Prototypes

Visual/Inertial Motion Estimation and Mapping

Fundamental to the successful operation of unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, for service and inspection tasks is the capability to sense ego-motion and to compute a basic map the environment in real-time. The application requires a high degree of robustness and accuracy yet payload, power and size constraints limit the choice for the onboard sensor suite. We developed a framework that tightly couples visual and inertial cues to achieve the required robustness and accuracy. Visual/Inertial Motion Estimation and Mapping

2012 Field Tests at Narcea Power Plant

New 2012 This section reports on flight tests conducted recently in the boiler system of a coal-fired thermal power plant in northern Spain. We demonstrated our capability to perform reliable motion-estimation of the UAV while relying only on sensors carried on-board the vehicle (stereo camera and inertial measurement unit). Flight Tests Narcea Power Plant

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