Skip to Main Content
Autonomous mini-helicopters have been seen as a viable option for aerial-based powerline inspections, however there are numerous research and engineering challenges in developing a system capable of achieving this task in a dependable manner. We have developed an autonomous helicopter as a research platform which will allow us to demonstrate proof-of-concept capabilities for powerline inspections. Through numerous development cycles and from flight test experience we have gained insights into the key challenges in this area. We discuss these insights, describe the helicopter platform and present our research progress in the area of obstacle avoidance for mini-helicopters.