Subterranean MAV Navigation based on Nonlinear MPC with Collision Avoidance Constraints

by   Sina Sharif Mansouri, et al.

Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs) navigation in subterranean environments is gaining attention in the field of aerial robotics, however there are still multiple challenges for collision free navigation in such harsh environments. This article proposes a novel baseline solution for collision free navigation with Nonlinear Model Predictive Control (NMPC). In the proposed method, the MAV is considered as a floating object, where the velocities on the x, y axes and the position on altitude are the references for the NMPC to navigate along the tunnel, while the NMPC avoids the collision by considering kinematics of the obstacles based on measurements from a 2D lidar. Moreover, a novel approach for correcting the heading of the MAV towards the center of the mine tunnel is proposed, while the efficacy of the suggested framework has been evaluated in multiple field trials in an underground mine in Sweden.



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