Open-sector rapid-reactive collision avoidance: Application in aerial robot navigation through outdoor unstructured environments

Jake A. Steiner, Xiang He, Joseph R. Bourne, Kam K Leang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A new reactive collision avoidance method for navigation of aerial robots (such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)) in unstructured urban/suburban environments is presented. Small form-factor aerial robots, such as quadcopters, often have limited payload capacity, flight time, processing power, and sensing capabilities. To enhance the capabilities of such vehicles without increasing weight or computing power, a reactive collision avoidance method based on open sectors is described. The method utilizes information from a two-dimensional laser scan of the environment and a short-term memory of past actions and can rapidly circumvent obstacles in outdoor urban/suburban environments. With no map required, the method enables the robot to react quickly and navigate even when the enivornment changes. Furthermore, the low computational requirement of the method allows the robot to quickly react to unknown obstacles that may be poorly represented in the scan, such as trees with branches and leaves. The method is validated in simulation results and through physical experiments on a prototype quadcopter system, where results show the robot flying smoothly around obstacles at a relatively high speed (3 m/s).

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages211-220
Number of pages10
JournalRobotics and Autonomous Systems
Volume112
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019

Fingerprint

Air navigation
Robot Navigation
Collision Avoidance
Collision avoidance
Antenna
Sector
Navigation
Robots
Antennas
Robot
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV)
Memory Term
Form Factors
Leaves
High Speed
Branch
Sensing
Data storage equipment
Prototype
Lasers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Mathematics(all)
  • Computer Science Applications

Cite this

Open-sector rapid-reactive collision avoidance : Application in aerial robot navigation through outdoor unstructured environments. / Steiner, Jake A.; He, Xiang; Bourne, Joseph R.; Leang, Kam K.

In: Robotics and Autonomous Systems, Vol. 112, 01.02.2019, p. 211-220.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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