Moving towards autonomy, unmanned vehicles rely heavily on state-of-the-art collision avoidance systems (CAS). A lot of work is being done to make the CAS as safe and reliable as possible, necessitating a comparative study of the recent work in this important area. The paper provides a comprehensive review of collision avoidance strategies used for unmanned vehicles, with the main emphasis on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). It is an in-depth survey of different collision avoidance techniques that are categorically explained along with a comparative analysis of the considered approaches w.r.t. different scenarios and technical aspects. This also includes a discussion on the use of different types of sensors for collision avoidance in the context of UAVs. INDEX TERMS autonomous aerial vehicles, autonomous vehicles, collision avoidance, active and passive sensors, optimisation-based, force-field based, sense and avoid, geometry based
The development of a navigation system is one of the major challenges in building a fully autonomous platform. Full autonomy requires a dependable navigation capability not only in a perfect situation with clear GPS signals but also in situations, where the GPS is unreliable. Therefore, selfcontained odometry systems have attracted much attention recently. This paper provides a general and comprehensive overview of the state of the art in the field of self-contained, i.e., GPS denied odometry systems, and identifies the out-coming challenges that demand further research in future. Self-contained odometry methods are categorized into five main types, i.e., wheel, inertial, laser, radar, and visual, where such categorization is based on the type of the sensor data being used for the odometry. Most of the research in the field is focused on analyzing the sensor data exhaustively or partially to extract the vehicle pose. Different combinations and fusions of sensor data in a tightly/loosely coupled manner and with filtering or optimizing fusion method have been investigated. We analyze the advantages and weaknesses of each approach in terms of different evaluation metrics, such as performance, response time, energy efficiency, and accuracy, which can be a useful guideline for researchers and engineers in the field. In the end, some future research challenges in the field are discussed.
Moving target-tracking is an attractive application for quadcopters and a very challenging, complicated field of research due to the complex dynamics of a quadcopter and the varying speed of the moving target with time. For this reason, various control algorithms have been developed to track a moving target using a camera. In this paper, a Fuzzy-PI controller is developed to adjust the parameters of the PI controller using the position and change of position data as input. The proposed controller is compared to a gain-scheduled PID controller instead of the typical PID controller. To verify the performance of the developed system and distinguish which one has better performance, several experiments of a quadcopter tracking a moving target are conducted under the varying speed of the moving target, indoor and outdoor and during day and night. The obtained results indicate that the proposed controller works well for tracking a moving target under different scenarios, especially during night.
Two important aspects in dealing with autonomous navigation of a swarm of drones are collision avoidance mechanism and formation control strategy; a possible competition between these two modes of operation may have negative implications for success and efficiency of the mission. This issue is exacerbated in the case of distributed formation control in leader-follower based swarms of drones since nodes concurrently decide and act through individual observation of neighbouring nodes' states and actions. To dynamically handle this duality of control, a plan of action for multi-priority control is required. In this paper, we propose a method for formation-collision co-awareness by adapting the thin-plate splines algorithm to minimize deformation of the swarm's formation while avoiding obstacles. Furthermore, we use a non-rigid mapping function to reduce the lag caused by such maneuvers. Simulation results show that the proposed methodology maintains the desired formation very closely in the presence of obstacles, while the response time and overall energy efficiency of the swarm is significantly improved in comparison with the existing methods where collision avoidance and formation control are only loosely coupled. Another important result of using non-rigid mapping is that the slowing down effect of obstacles on the overall speed of the swarm is significantly reduced, making our approach especially suitable for time critical missions.
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