SURG Spring 2011¶
Exploration and Mapping of Unstructured Environments using an Autonomous Quadrotor¶
Jeff Cooper, Jitu Das, Priya Deo, Dan Jacobs, Mike Ornstein, Harrison Rose,
James Wahawisan, Alex Zirbel.
Robots are an increasingly common sight in all areas of daily life, and are increasingly useful to
humans. As their capabilities expand, they are able to move from strictly controlled environments into an
uncharted and potentially dangerous world, where they can accomplish tasks humans would rather avoid.
Exploration of hazardous locations like collapsed buildings, mines, and other disaster areas is left largely
to humans because few modern robots have the capabilities to reliably replace human explorers. The
quadrotor aerial platform provides an attractive solution to this problem: being extremely maneuverable,
powerful enough to carry high-performance sensing equipment, and compact enough to fit through small
gaps such as a broken window, a quadrotor can gather data about a location before humans or other
robots enter it. Once this data is available and the terrain is mapped, robots and humans entering the
environment can explore and travel much more efficiently. Applications for this information range from
urban navigation to search and rescue maps that can help quickly develop paths to areas of interest. This
research team aims to tackle the problem of exploring and mapping unstructured environments using an