One societal need is to make systems of drones more autonomous and connected. This will allow formation flying and mission-based flying, e.g. for the surveillance and assessment of the status of a particular forest at a particular time. At Lund University, the Robotics Laboratory is involved in such research which will be a key aspect of this suggested collaboration project. Already involved in the WASP programme, Robotics lab contributes to the development and testing of algorithms for formation flying, mission path planning, and sensor fusion.
In many applications with multi-vehicle coordination and autonomous flying, a key issue is that each vehicle has several constraints which limit its capability in one way or another. Such constraints can arise from the sensing technology, communication, or intrinsic properties of the vehicle's dynamics. Researchers in the Robotics lab are developing feasible and optimal coordination controllers for multi-vehicle systems under various constraints, to improve the system performance and autonomy.
Our goal is to enable multiple heterogeneous vehicles to safely perform a wide variety of complex tasks, and the research questions tend to be highly intersectional as a consequence. Some solutions are rooted in nonlinear control and differential geometry, while others pertain to classical control, motion planning and sensor fusion. Below is a simulation example of UAV flying control with a special form of feedback control also used in the real-time implementation, here set to follow a looping reference trajectory defined on the surface of a torus.