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Within this paper, a new fast algorithm that provides efficient solutions to the problem of inspection path planning for complex 3D structures is presented. The algorithm assumes a triangular mesh representation of the structure and employs an alternating two-step optimization paradigm to find good viewpoints that together provide full coverage and a(More)
The SHERPA project funded by the European Community's 7<sup>th</sup> Framework Program (ICT 600958), addresses the development of a team of ground and aerial robots to act as an aid to alpine search-and-rescue missions. Following the kickoff of the project on February 1<sup>st</sup> 2013 and the thorough research on the conditions under which such missions(More)
Localization is essential for robots to operate autonomously, especially for extended periods of time, when estimator drift tends to destroy alignment to any global map. Though there has been extensive work in vision-based localization in recent years, including several systems that show real-time performance, none have been demonstrated running entirely(More)
Robust, accurate pose estimation and mapping at real-time in six dimensions is a primary need of mobile robots, in particular flying Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs), which still perform their impressive maneuvers mostly in controlled environments. This work presents a visual-inertial sensor unit aimed at effortless deployment on robots in order to equip them(More)
The challenge of aerial robotic physical interaction towards inspection of infrastructure facilities through contact is the main motivation of this paper. A hybrid model predictive control framework is proposed, based on which a typical quadrotor vehicle becomes capable of stable physical interaction, accurate trajectory tracking on environmental surfaces(More)
Precise trajectory tracking is a crucial property for Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs) to operate in cluttered environment or under disturbances. In this paper we present a detailed comparison between two state-of-the-art model-based control techniques for MAV trajectory tracking. A classical Linear Model Predictive Controller (LMPC) is presented and compared(More)
The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) offers a unique possibility to capture visual information in areas which are hard to reach or dangerous for humans. For UAVs to become a standard tool in visual inspection, it is of utmost importance that the aerial robot can be operated efficiently by a non-expert UAV pilot and that the navigation system is robust(More)
This paper addresses the challenges of the design, development and control of a new convertible VTOL tailsitter unmanned aerial vehicle that combines the advantages of both fixed wing and rotary wing systems. Wind tunnel measurements are used to get an understanding of the control allocation and to model the static forces and moments acting on the system.(More)