Thesis defence H.W. Ho: micro air vehicles

21 June 2017 15:00 - Location: Aula, TU Delft - By: Webredactie

Autonomous landing of Micro Air Vehicles through bio-inspired monocular vision. Promotor: Prof.dr.ir. M. Mulder (LR).

Autonomous flying vehicles ‐ especially the small and light‐weight Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs) ‐ are currently not capable of finding a safe landing site by themselves and performing smooth landings. The main reason is that most of the state‐of‐the‐art solutions are computationally expensive and thus restrict their application on MAVs which have severely limited processing power and sensors available. Hence, this kind of vehicles requires an energy‐efficient landing solution using a light‐weight sensor. 

A promising option for MAV landing is to draw inspiration from tiny flying insects. The motivation comes from the fact that these insects have very limited neural and sensory resources, yet they can perform complex tasks, such as navigating in a dense, obstacle‐rich environment and carrying out smooth landings. In other words, they possess efficient and robust approaches to perception and control problems, and these approaches could be ideal for designing the control strategies for MAV landing. Research shows that, to realize many of these complex tasks, flying insects use control strategies which heavily rely on optical flow.

However, there are many challenges when using solely optical flow for MAV landing. To this end, this thesis proposes several solutions to ensure a smooth and high‐performance landing of an MAV using optical flow and automatically search for a suitable landing site for the MAV using monocular vision. These solutions lead to novel insights that are not only important to a tiny drone but may also prove their value to biology.

More information?
For access to theses by the PhD students you can have a look in TU Delft Repository, the digital storage of publications of TU Delft. Theses will be available within a few weeks after the actual thesis defence.