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Robotics 2016, 5(3), 18;

Bio-Inspired Vision-Based Leader-Follower Formation Flying in the Presence of Delays

School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing; Cranfield University, Bedfordshire, Cranfield MK43 0AL, UK
Academic Editor: Huosheng Hu
Received: 17 June 2016 / Revised: 1 August 2016 / Accepted: 11 August 2016 / Published: 18 August 2016
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Flocking starlings at dusk are known for the mesmerizing and intricate shapes they generate, as well as how fluid these shapes change. They seem to do this effortlessly. Real-life vision-based flocking has not been achieved in micro-UAVs (micro Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) to date. Towards this goal, we make three contributions in this paper: (i) we used a computational approach to develop a bio-inspired architecture for vision-based Leader-Follower formation flying on two micro-UAVs. We believe that the minimal computational cost of the resulting algorithm makes it suitable for object detection and tracking during high-speed flocking; (ii) we show that provided delays in the control loop of a micro-UAV are below a critical value, Kalman filter-based estimation algorithms are not required to achieve Leader-Follower formation flying; (iii) unlike previous approaches, we do not use external observers, such as GPS signals or synchronized communication with flock members. These three contributions could be useful in achieving vision-based flocking in GPS-denied environments on computationally-limited agents. View Full-Text
Keywords: bio-inspiration; flocking; vision; delays; communication bio-inspiration; flocking; vision; delays; communication

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Oyekan, J. Bio-Inspired Vision-Based Leader-Follower Formation Flying in the Presence of Delays. Robotics 2016, 5, 18.

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