Vertical infrastructure inspection using a quadcopter and shared autonomy control

Sa, Inkyu & Corke, Peter (2014) Vertical infrastructure inspection using a quadcopter and shared autonomy control. In Yoshida, Kazuya & Tadokoro, Satoshi (Eds.) Field and Service Robotics: Results of the 8th International Conference [Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics, Volume 92], Springer, Matsushima, Miyagi, Japan, pp. 219-232.

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This paper presents a shared autonomy control scheme for a quadcopter that is suited for inspection of vertical infrastructure — tall man-made structures such as streetlights, electricity poles or the exterior surfaces of buildings. Current approaches to inspection of such structures is slow, expensive, and potentially hazardous. Low-cost aerial platforms with an ability to hover now have sufficient payload and endurance for this kind of task, but require significant human skill to fly. We develop a control architecture that enables synergy between the ground-based operator and the aerial inspection robot. An unskilled operator is assisted by onboard sensing and partial autonomy to safely fly the robot in close proximity to the structure. The operator uses their domain knowledge and problem solving skills to guide the robot in difficult to reach locations to inspect and assess the condition of the infrastructure. The operator commands the robot in a local task coordinate frame with limited degrees of freedom (DOF). For instance: up/down, left/right, toward/away with respect to the infrastructure. We therefore avoid problems of global mapping and navigation while providing an intuitive interface to the operator. We describe algorithms for pole detection, robot velocity estimation with respect to the pole, and position estimation in 3D space as well as the control algorithms and overall system architecture. We present initial results of shared autonomy of a quadrotor with respect to a vertical pole and robot performance is evaluated by comparing with motion capture data.

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ID Code: 57798
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Shared autonomy control scheme, Quadcopter, inspection of vertical infrastructure
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-40686-7_15
ISBN: 978-3-642-40685-0
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONIC ENGINEERING (090600) > Control Systems Robotics and Automation (090602)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Deposited On: 05 Mar 2013 23:40
Last Modified: 28 May 2014 15:19

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