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Optic-Flow-Based Collision Avoidance

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2 Author(s)
William E. Green ; Drexel Univ., Philadelphia ; Paul Y. Oh

Flying in and around caves, tunnels, and buildings demands more than one sensing modality. This article presented an optic-flow- based approach inspired by flying insects for avoiding lateral collisions. However, there were a few real-world scenarios in which optic flow sensing failed. This occurred when obstacles on approach were directly in front of the aircraft. Here, a simple sonar or infrared sensor can be used to trigger a quick transition into the hovering mode to avoid the otherwise fatal collision. Toward this end, we have demonstrated a fixed-wing prototype capable of manually transitioning from conventional cruise flight into the hovering mode. The prototype was then equipped with an IMU and a flight control system to automate the hovering process. The next step in this research is to automate the transition from cruise to hover flight.

Published in:

IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine  (Volume:15 ,  Issue: 1 )