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Optimal Trajectory Planning for Cinematography with Multiple Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

by   Alfonso Alcántara, et al.

This paper presents a method for planning optimal trajectories with a team of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) performing autonomous cinematography. The method is able to plan trajectories online and in a distributed manner, providing coordination between the UAVs. We propose a novel non-linear formulation for this challenging problem of computing multi-UAV optimal trajectories for cinematography; integrating UAVs dynamics and collision avoidance constraints, together with cinematographic aspects like smoothness, gimbal mechanical limits and mutual camera visibility. We integrate our method within a hardware and software architecture for UAV cinematography that was previously developed within the framework of the MultiDrone project; and demonstrate its use with different types of shots filming a moving target outdoors. We provide extensive experimental results both in simulation and field experiments. We analyze the performance of the method and prove that it is able to compute online smooth trajectories, reducing jerky movements and complying with cinematography constraints.


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