Automatic obstacle avoidance of quadrotor UAV via CNN-based learning

Dai, Xi, Mao, Yuxin, Huang, Tianpeng, Qin, Na, Huang, Deqing and Li, Yanan (2020) Automatic obstacle avoidance of quadrotor UAV via CNN-based learning. Neurocomputing. ISSN 0925-2312

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Abstract

In this paper, a CNN-based learning scheme is proposed to enable a quadrotor unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to avoid obstacles automatically in unknown and unstructured environments. In order to reduce the decision delay and to improve the robustness for the UAV, a two-stage end-to-end obstacle avoidance architecture is designed, where a forward-facing monocular camera is used only. In the first stage, a convolutional neural network (CNN)-based model is adopted as the prediction mechanism. Utilizing three effective operations, namely depthwise convolution, group convolution and channel split, the model predicts the steering angle and the collision probability simultaneously. In the second stage, the control mechanism maps the steering angle to an instruction that changes the yaw angle of the UAV. Consequently, when the UAV encounters an obstacle, it can avoid collision by steering automatically. Meanwhile, the collision probability is mapped as a forward speed to maintain the flight or stop going forward. The presented automatic obstacle avoidance scheme of quadrotor UAV is verified by several indoor/outdoor tests, where the feasibility and efficacy have been demonstrated clearly. The novelties of the method lie in its low sensor requirement, light-weight network structure, strong learning ability and environmental adaptability.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Obstacle avoidance, Unmanned aerial vehicle, Convolutional neural network, Collision probability
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Engineering and Design
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2020 07:09
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2020 09:30
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/90939

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