Fei GAO received 2016 IEEE-SSRR Best Conference Paper Award
The paper “Online quadrotor trajectory generation and autonomous navigation on point clouds” by Ph.D. student Fei GAO just won the Best Conference Paper Award in the 2016 IEEE International Symposium on Safety, Security, and Rescue Robotics (SSRR) at Lausanne, Switzerland. Our group got the best paper award for this conference two years in a row.
In this paper, we present a framework for online generation of safe trajectories directly on point clouds for autonomous quadrotor flight. Considering a quadrotor operating in unknown environments, we use a 3-D laser range finder for state estimation and simultaneously build a point cloud map of the environment. Based on the incrementally built point cloud map, we utilize the property of the fast nearest neighbor search in KD-tree and adopt the sampling-based path finding method to generate a flight corridor with safety guarantee in 3-D space.A trajectory generation method formulated in quadratically constrained quadratic programming (QCQP) is then used to generate trajectories that constrained entirely within the corridor. Our method runs onboard within 100 milliseconds,making it suitable for online re-planning. We integrate the proposed planning method with laser-based state estimation and mapping modules, and demonstrate the autonomous quadrotor flight in unknown indoor and outdoor environments.