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In this paper, we propose a new quaternion-based feedback control scheme for exponential attitude stabilization of a four-rotor vertical takeoff and landing aerial robot known as a quadrotor aircraft. The proposed controller is based upon the compensation of the Coriolis and gyroscopic torques and the use of a PD2 feedback structure, where the proportional action is in terms of the vector quaternion and the two derivative actions are in terms of the airframe angular velocity and the vector quaternion velocity. We also show that the model-independent PD controller, where the proportional action is in terms of the vector-quaternion and the derivative action is in terms of the airframe angular velocity, without compensation of the Coriolis and gyroscopic torques, provides asymptotic stability for our problem. The proposed controller as well as some other controllers have been tested experimentally on a small-scale quadrotor aircraft.
Date of Publication: May 2006