Vision-Based Navigation and Visual Servoing of Mini Flying Machines

  • Kenzo Nonami
  • Farid Kendoul
  • Satoshi Suzuki
  • Wei Wang
  • Daisuke Nakazawa


The design of reliable navigation and control systems for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) based only on visual cues and inertial data has many unsolved challenging problems, ranging from hardware and software development to pure control-theoretical issues. This chapter addresses these issues by developing and implementing an adaptive vision-based autopilot for navigation and control of small and mini rotorcraft UAVs. The proposed autopilot includes a Visual Odometer (VO) for navigation in GPS-denied environments and a nonlinear control system for flight control and target tracking. The VO estimates the rotorcraft ego-motion by identifying and tracking visual features in the environment, using a single camera mounted on-board the vehicle. The VO has been augmented by an adaptive mechanism that fuses optic flow and inertial measurements to determine the range and to recover the 3D position and velocity of the vehicle. The adaptive VO pose estimates are then exploited by a nonlinear hierarchical controller for achieving various navigational tasks including take-off, landing, hovering, trajectory tracking, target tracking, etc. Furthermore, the asymptotic stability of the entire closed-loop system has been established using systems in cascade and adaptive control theories. Experimental flight test data over various ranges of the flight envelope illustrate that the proposed vision-based autopilot performs well and allows a mini rotorcraft UAV to achieve autonomously advanced flight behaviours by using vision.


Optic Flow Obstacle Avoidance Trajectory Tracking Flight Test Target Template 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenzo Nonami
    • 1
  • Farid Kendoul
    • 2
  • Satoshi Suzuki
    • 3
  • Wei Wang
    • 4
  • Daisuke Nakazawa
    • 5
  1. 1.Faculty of EngineeringChiba UniversityChibaJapan
  2. 2.CSIRO Queensland Centre for Advanced TechnologiesAutonomous Systems LaboratoryPullenvaleAustralia
  3. 3.International Young Researchers Empowerment CenterShinshu UniversityUedaJapan
  4. 4.College of Information and Control EngineeringNanjing University of Information Science & TechnologyNanjingP.R. China
  5. 5.Advanced Technology R&D CenterMitsubishi Electric CorporationAmagasakiJapan

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