Unmanned Vehicle Controller Design, Evaluation and Implementation: From MATLAB to Printed Circuit Board

  • Daniel Ernst
  • Kimon Valavanis
  • Richard Garcia
  • Jeff Craighead
Unmanned Systems Paper


A detailed step-by-step approach is presented to optimize, standardize, and automate the process of unmanned vehicle controller design, evaluation, validation and verification, followed by actual hardware controller implementation on the vehicle. The proposed approach follows the standard practice to utilize MATLAB/SIMULINK and related toolboxes as the design framework. Controller design in MATLAB/SIMULINK is followed by automatic conversion from MATLAB to code generation and optimization for particular types of processors using Real-Time Workshop, and C to Assembly language conversion to produce assembly code for a target microcontroller. Considering Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, fixed or rotary wing ones, X-Plane is used to verify, validate and optimize controllers before actual testing on an unmanned vehicle and actual implementation on a chip and printed circuit board. Sample designs demonstrate the applicability of the proposed method.


Autopilot Controller design Implementation MATLAB/SIMULINK Microcontroller Unmanned systems Validation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Ernst
    • 1
  • Kimon Valavanis
    • 1
  • Richard Garcia
    • 1
  • Jeff Craighead
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Unmanned Systems LaboratoryUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA

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