3D Robotics

3689479796?profile=originalDoug Weibel writes:

I just got the most recent issue of IEEE Robotics and Automation magazine, which has a theme of quadcopters as robotics research platforms.  There is a large article describing the various attitude estimation and control algorithms used in Arducopter, OpenPilot, Paparazzi, Pikhawk, Mirokopter, KK muticopter, Multiwii, and Aeroquad.  If you want to know what the difference between what we are doing vs one of the others, this looks like a great resource.

There is also a great article by Robert Mahoney (of DCM fame), Vijay Kumar (from U Penn), and Peter Corke (Queensland U) titled "Modeling, Estimation and Control of Quadrotor".  If you want to review first principles and the math basis for quad rotor control, this will interest you.

Several other interesting articles including one on the interface between autonomous and human control, and another on optical 6Dof Pose estimation.


It's free and the open source flight controller comparison article starts on page 34. Sample below:


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  • According to the article, it looks like MK has one of the less sophisticated control algorithms. In my own expirience however MK has better loiter and auto performance compered to arducopter. See for example this for a rather spectacular demonstration.

    I wonder how 

  • Really useful articles. Great that you gave a link.Thanks.

  • hi Hyon,
    welcome to diydrones :) btw we would have given you more brownie points for a better review ;)

  • I wrote that article "Build your own quadrotor" :-)

    Thanks for the introduction. It's my pleasure

  • Cool

    very cool link

  • IEEE Control Systems Magazine October 2012 is devoted to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles as well - autopilots for ultra lightweight robotic birds, cooperative control of multiple autonomous vehicles, autonomous control of unmanned combat air vehicles. I don't have a way to share it by link, though.

  • Doug,

    Thanks for the link. I think this can be very useful.

  • Just to access these guys articles, it is time to finally renew my IEEE membership.
  • Doug & Chris,
    Thanks for the heads up on this. If you recall Vijay Kumar & Daniel Mellinger presented incredible research on aggressive quads & Quads playing 007 theme, both of which were based on optical guidance algorithms (from remote observation video processing). Robert Mahoney and Peter Corke have been publish articles on flight dynamics for Quads & has also done ground breaking research on quad design optimization, non-linear control, etc. since before 2004.
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