TOPFLIGHT: Trajectory and Mission Planning for Agile Flight of Aerial Robots in Cluttered Environments

JUNIOR STAR project in years 2023-2027 supported by the Czech Science Foundation (GAČR) under research project No. 23-06162M

Principal investigator Robert Penicka

 

Abstract:

Drones are already changing many industries like package delivery, inspection, or search and rescue. This research project will focus on answering fundamental questions that arise from high-speed flight of quadrotors in cluttered environments. The motivation for this project is the search and rescue scenario which requires the drones to be as fast as possible to quickly find survivors after natural disasters. We will focus on pushing the boundaries of the drones’ autonomy in planning and control for agile quadrotor flight. Current approaches struggle with online trajectory planning and control that would use full agility of the quadrotors and thus minimize the time of flight. We plan to developt planning and control methods that overcome this limitation and thus significantly improve the efficiency of drones in such tasks. Furthermore, we will develop novel approaches for online mission planning over multiple targets, e.g. estimated locations of survivors in the search and rescue, that would (contrary to existing work) account for cluttered environments and limited battery capacity.

Motivation and examples of drone applications of the proposed project (a) Ingenuity drone flying on Mars, (b) Minimum-time flight in cluttered environment where the drone racing serves as a proxy scenario for search and rescue (c) Multi-goal mission planning in cluttered environments (d) Mission planning for data collection with multiple drones.

 

Main goal:

The TOPFLIGHT project will push the boundaries of the drones’ autonomy by improving the mission planning, trajectory planning, and control for agile quadrotor flight in cluttered environments.

 

Videos:

In media:

A method to enhance the planning of missions completed by multiple UAVs 22.3.2024
Ing. Robert Pěnička, PhD. získal prestižní grant JUNIOR STAR od GA ČR 16.11.2022
Granty JUNIOR STAR 2023 od GA ČR pro Jakuba Cikhardta a Roberta Pěničku z FEL ČVUT na výzkum plazmatu a záchranářské drony 18.11.2022
PROJEKTY JUNIOR STAR 2023 – II. DÍL 19.09.2023

Publications:

  1. Pavel Petracek, Kostas Alexis and Martin Saska. RMS: Redundancy-Minimizing Point Cloud Sampling for Real-Time Pose Estimation. IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, pages 1–8, 2024. PDF, DOI BibTeX

    @article{petracek2024rms,
    	title = "{RMS: Redundancy-Minimizing Point Cloud Sampling for Real-Time Pose Estimation}",
    	journal = "IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters",
    	author = "Petracek, Pavel and Alexis, Kostas and Saska, Martin",
    	year = 2024,
    	pages = "1--8",
    	pdf = "https://mrs.fel.cvut.cz/data/papers/petracek2024rms.pdf",
    	doi = "10.1109/LRA.2024.3389820"
    }
    
  2. Denys Datsko, Frantisek Nekovar, Robert Penicka and Martin Saska. Energy-Aware Multi-UAV Coverage Mission Planning With Optimal Speed of Flight. IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters 9(3):2893-2900, 2024. PDF, DOI BibTeX

    @article{Datsko2024MultiCPPOptimal,
    	author = "Datsko, Denys and Nekovar, Frantisek and Penicka, Robert and Saska, Martin",
    	journal = "IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters",
    	title = "Energy-Aware Multi-UAV Coverage Mission Planning With Optimal Speed of Flight",
    	year = 2024,
    	volume = 9,
    	number = 3,
    	pages = "2893-2900",
    	keywords = "Energy consumption;Autonomous aerial vehicles;Planning;Trajectory;Estimation;Batteries;Traveling salesman problems;Aerial Systems: Applications;Path Planning for Multiple Mobile Robots or Agents;Planning, Scheduling and Coordination",
    	doi = "10.1109/LRA.2024.3358581",
    	pdf = "data/papers/datsko2024RALCoverage.pdf"
    }
    
  3. Basel Elkhapery, Robert Pěnička, Michal Němec and Mohsin Siddiqui. Metaheuristic planner for cooperative multi-agent wall construction with UAVs. Automation in Construction 152:104908, 2023. URL PDF, DOI BibTeX

    @article{Elkhapery23_AIC_UAVWallBuilding,
    	title = "Metaheuristic planner for cooperative multi-agent wall construction with UAVs",
    	journal = "Automation in Construction",
    	volume = 152,
    	pages = 104908,
    	year = 2023,
    	issn = "0926-5805",
    	doi = "https://doi.org/10.1016/j.autcon.2023.104908",
    	url = "https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0926580523001681",
    	author = "Basel Elkhapery and Robert Pěnička and Michal Němec and Mohsin Siddiqui",
    	pdf = "data/papers/AIC23_Elkhapery.pdf"
    }
    
  4. Yunlong Song, Kexin Shi, Robert Penicka and Davide Scaramuzza. Learning Perception-Aware Agile Flight in Cluttered Environments. 2023. PDF BibTeX

    @misc{song2023learning,
    	title = "Learning Perception-Aware Agile Flight in Cluttered Environments",
    	author = "Yunlong Song and Kexin Shi and Robert Penicka and Davide Scaramuzza",
    	year = 2023,
    	eprint = "2210.01841",
    	archiveprefix = "arXiv",
    	primaryclass = "cs.RO",
    	pdf = "https://arxiv.org/pdf/2210.01841.pdf"
    }
    
  5. Drew Hanover, Antonio Loquercio, Leonard Bauersfeld, Angel Romero, Robert Penicka, Yunlong Song, Giovanni Cioffi, Elia Kaufmann and Davide Scaramuzza. Autonomous Drone Racing: A Survey. 2023. PDF BibTeX

    @misc{hanover2023autonomous,
    	title = "Autonomous Drone Racing: A Survey",
    	author = "Drew Hanover and Antonio Loquercio and Leonard Bauersfeld and Angel Romero and Robert Penicka and Yunlong Song and Giovanni Cioffi and Elia Kaufmann and Davide Scaramuzza",
    	year = 2023,
    	eprint = "2301.01755",
    	archiveprefix = "arXiv",
    	primaryclass = "cs.RO",
    	pdf = "https://arxiv.org/pdf/2301.01755.pdf"
    }
    
  6. D Hert, T Baca, P Petracek, V Kratky, R Penicka, V Spurny, M Petrlik, M Vrba, D Zaitlik, P Stoudek, V Walter, P Stepan, J Horyna, V Pritzl, M Sramek, A Ahmad, G Silano, D Bonilla Licea, P Stibinger, T Nascimento and M Saska. MRS Drone: A Modular Platform for Real-World Deployment of Aerial Multi-Robot Systems. Journal of Intelligent & Robotic Systems 108:1–34, July 2023. URL PDF, DOI BibTeX

    @article{HertJINTHW_paper,
    	author = "{Hert}, D. and {Baca}, T. and {Petracek}, P. and {Kratky}, V. and {Penicka}, R. and {Spurny}, V. and {Petrlik}, M. and {Vrba}, M. and {Zaitlik}, D. and {Stoudek}, P. and {Walter}, V. and {Stepan}, P. and {Horyna}, J. and {Pritzl}, V. and {Sramek}, M. and {Ahmad}, A. and {Silano}, G. and {Bonilla Licea}, D. and {Stibinger}, P. and {Nascimento}, T. and {Saska}, M.",
    	month = "July",
    	title = "{MRS Drone: A Modular Platform for Real-World Deployment of Aerial Multi-Robot Systems}",
    	year = 2023,
    	journal = "Journal of Intelligent {\&} Robotic Systems",
    	publisher = "Springer",
    	pdf = "data/papers/JINT2023Hert.pdf",
    	volume = 108,
    	pages = "1--34",
    	doi = "10.1007/s10846-023-01879-2",
    	issue = 64,
    	url = "https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10846-023-01879-2"
    }
    
  7. Lidia Rocha, Martin Saska and Kelen Vivaldini. Overview of UAV Trajectory Planning for High-Speed Flight. In 2023 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS). 2023, 110-117. DOI BibTeX

    @inproceedings{Rocha2023OverviewPlanning,
    	author = "Rocha, Lidia and Saska, Martin and Vivaldini, Kelen",
    	booktitle = "2023 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS)",
    	title = "Overview of UAV Trajectory Planning for High-Speed Flight",
    	year = 2023,
    	pages = "110-117",
    	doi = "10.1109/ICUAS57906.2023.10156610"
    }