Inspection of Pole-Like Structures Using a Visual-Inertial Aided VTOL Platform with Shared Autonomy
AbstractThis 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
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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.
Sa I, Hrabar S, Corke P. Inspection of Pole-Like Structures Using a Visual-Inertial Aided VTOL Platform with Shared Autonomy. Sensors. 2015; 15(9):22003-22048.Chicago/Turabian Style
Sa, Inkyu; Hrabar, Stefan; Corke, Peter. 2015. "Inspection of Pole-Like Structures Using a Visual-Inertial Aided VTOL Platform with Shared Autonomy." Sensors 15, no. 9: 22003-22048.