Next Article in Journal
Flip Chip Bonding of a Quartz MEMS-Based Vibrating Beam Accelerometer
Next Article in Special Issue
Dual-Stack Single-Radio Communication Architecture for UAV Acting As a Mobile Node to Collect Data in WSNs
Previous Article in Journal
Investigating the Potential of Using the Spatial and Spectral Information of Multispectral LiDAR for Object Classification
Previous Article in Special Issue
Towards the Development of a Low Cost Airborne Sensing System to Monitor Dust Particles after Blasting at Open-Pit Mine Sites
Open AccessArticle

Inspection of Pole-Like Structures Using a Visual-Inertial Aided VTOL Platform with Shared Autonomy

Science and Engineering Faculty, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane 4000, Australia
CSIRO Digital Productivity, Brisbane 4069, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Felipe Gonzalez Toro and Antonios Tsourdos
Sensors 2015, 15(9), 22003-22048;
Received: 14 July 2015 / Revised: 24 August 2015 / Accepted: 26 August 2015 / Published: 2 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue UAV Sensors for Environmental Monitoring)
This paper presents an algorithm and a system for vertical infrastructure inspection using a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicle and shared autonomy. Inspecting vertical structures such as light and power distribution poles is a difficult task that is time-consuming, dangerous and expensive. Recently, micro VTOL platforms (i.e., quad-, hexa- and octa-rotors) have been rapidly gaining interest in research, military and even public domains. The unmanned, low-cost and VTOL properties of these platforms make them ideal for situations where inspection would otherwise be time-consuming and/or hazardous to humans. There are, however, challenges involved with developing such an inspection system, for example flying in close proximity to a target while maintaining a fixed stand-off distance from it, being immune to wind gusts and exchanging useful information with the remote user. To overcome these challenges, we require accurate and high-update rate state estimation and high performance controllers to be implemented onboard the vehicle. Ease of control and a live video feed are required for the human operator. We demonstrate a VTOL platform that can operate at close-quarters, whilst maintaining a safe stand-off distance and rejecting environmental disturbances. Two approaches are presented: Position-Based Visual Servoing (PBVS) using an Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) and estimator-free Image-Based Visual Servoing (IBVS). Both use monocular visual, inertia, and sonar data, allowing the approaches to be applied for indoor or GPS-impaired environments. We extensively compare the performances of PBVS and IBVS in terms of accuracy, robustness and computational costs. Results from simulations Sensors 2015, 15 22004 and indoor/outdoor (day and night) flight experiments demonstrate the system is able to successfully inspect and circumnavigate a vertical pole. View Full-Text
Keywords: aerial robotics; pole inspection; visual servoing, shared autonomy aerial robotics; pole inspection; visual servoing, shared autonomy
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Sa, I.; Hrabar, S.; Corke, P. Inspection of Pole-Like Structures Using a Visual-Inertial Aided VTOL Platform with Shared Autonomy. Sensors 2015, 15, 22003-22048.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Article Access Map by Country/Region

Only visits after 24 November 2015 are recorded.
Search more from Scilit
Back to TopTop