Indoor UAV control using multi-camera visual feedback

This paper presents the control of an indoor unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) using multi-camera visual feedback. For the autonomous flight of the indoor UAV, instead of using onboard sensor information, visual feedback concept is employed by the development of an indoor flight test-bed. The indoor test-bed consists of four major components: the multi-camera system, ground computer, onboard color marker set, and quad-rotor UAV. Since the onboard markers are attached to the pre-defined location, position and attitude of the UAV can be estimated by marker detection algorithm and triangulation method. Additionally, this study introduces a filter algorithm to obtain the full 6-degree of freedom (DOF) pose estimation including velocities and angular rates. The filter algorithm also enhances the performance of the vision system by making up for the weakness of low cost cameras such as poor resolution and large noise. Moreover, for the pose estimation of multiple vehicles, data association algorithm using the geometric relation between cameras is proposed in this paper. The control system is designed based on the classical proportional-integral-derivative (PID) control, which uses the position, velocity and attitude from the vision system and the angular rate from the rate gyro sensor. This paper concludes with both ground and flight test results illustrating the performance and properties of the proposed indoor flight test-bed and the control system using the multi-camera visual feedback.