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Sensors 2015, 15(7), 14887-14916; doi:10.3390/s150714887

Vision and Control for UAVs: A Survey of General Methods and of Inexpensive Platforms for Infrastructure Inspection

Automation Department, Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Memorandumului Street no. 28, 400114 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Felipe Gonzalez Toro
Received: 27 December 2014 / Revised: 20 May 2015 / Accepted: 26 May 2015 / Published: 25 June 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue UAV Sensors for Environmental Monitoring)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [928 KB, uploaded 25 June 2015]   |  

Abstract

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have gained significant attention in recent years. Low-cost platforms using inexpensive sensor payloads have been shown to provide satisfactory flight and navigation capabilities. In this report, we survey vision and control methods that can be applied to low-cost UAVs, and we list some popular inexpensive platforms and application fields where they are useful. We also highlight the sensor suites used where this information is available. We overview, among others, feature detection and tracking, optical flow and visual servoing, low-level stabilization and high-level planning methods. We then list popular low-cost UAVs, selecting mainly quadrotors. We discuss applications, restricting our focus to the field of infrastructure inspection. Finally, as an example, we formulate two use-cases for railway inspection, a less explored application field, and illustrate the usage of the vision and control techniques reviewed by selecting appropriate ones to tackle these use-cases. To select vision methods, we run a thorough set of experimental evaluations. View Full-Text
Keywords: unmanned aerial vehicle; control; planning; camera-based sensing; infrastructure inspection unmanned aerial vehicle; control; planning; camera-based sensing; infrastructure inspection
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Máthé, K.; Buşoniu, L. Vision and Control for UAVs: A Survey of General Methods and of Inexpensive Platforms for Infrastructure Inspection. Sensors 2015, 15, 14887-14916.

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