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Catching a Flying Ball with a Vision-Based Quadrotor

Authors Su, Kunyue HKUST affiliated (currently or previously)
Shen, Shaojie View this author's profile
Issue Date 2017
Source 2016 International Symposium on Experimental Robotics , 2017, p. 550-562, In Series: Springer Proceedings in Advanced Robotics, Vol. 1
Summary We present a method allowing a quadrotor equipped with only onboard cameras and an IMU to catch a flying ball. Our system runs without any external infrastructure and with reasonable computational complexity. Central to our approach is an online monocular vision-based ball trajectory estimator that recovers and predicts the 3-D motion of a flying ball using only noisy 2-D observations. Our method eliminates the need for direct range sensing via stereo correspondences, making it robust against noisy or erroneous measurements. Our system is made by a simple 2-D visual ball tracker, a UKF-based state estimator that fuses optical flow and inertial data, and a nonlinear tracking controller. We perform extensive analysis on system performance by studying both the system dynamics and ball trajectory estimation accuracy. Through online experiments, we show the first mid-air interception of a flying ball with an aerial robot using only onboard sensors.
Conference 2016 International Symposium on Experimental Robotics (ISER 2016), Tokyo, Japan, 3-6 October 2016
ISSN 25111256
ISBN 9783319501147
Language English
Format Conference paper
Access View full-text via DOI