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Landing is one of the difficult challenges for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). In this paper, we propose a vision-based landing approach for an autonomous UAV using reinforcement learning (RL). The autonomous UAV learns the landing skill from scratch by interacting with the environment. The reinforcement learning algorithm explored and extended in this study is Least-Squares Policy Iteration (LSPI) to gain a fast learning process and a smooth landing trajectory. The proposed approach has been tested with a simulated quadro copter in an extended version of the USAR Sim (Unified System for Automation and Robot Simulation) environment. Results showed that LSPI learned the landing skill very quickly, requiring less than 142 trials.
Date of Conference: 6-7 Sept. 2010