Aerial Locomotion in Cluttered Environments

Many environments where robots are expected to operate are cluttered with objects, walls, debris, and different horizontal and vertical structures. In this chapter, we present four design features that allow small robots to rapidly and safely move in 3 dimensions through cluttered environments: a perceptual system capable of detecting obstacles in the robot's surroundings, including the ground, with minimal computation, mass, and energy requirements; a flexible and protective framework capable of withstanding collisions and even using collisions to learn about the properties of the surroundings when light is not available; a mechanism for temporarily perching to vertical structures in order to monitor the environment or communicate with other robots before taking off again; and a self-deployment mechanism for getting in the air and perform repetitive jumps or glided flight. We conclude the chapter by suggesting future avenues for integration of multiple features within the same robotic platform.

Christensen, Hi
Khatib, O
Published in:
Robotics Research, ISRR, 100, 21-39
Presented at:
15th International Symposium of Robotics Research (ISRR), Flagstaff, AZ, DEC 09-12, 2011
Berlin, Springer-Verlag Berlin
978-3-319-29363-9; 978-3-319-29362-2

 Record created 2017-09-05, last modified 2018-03-17

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