Plant Servicing and Inspection

Challenge 3

This challenge aims at targeting the open problems in existing MAV solutions (especially in multicopters) to enable their deployment in real life scenarios. MAVs are naturally unstable platforms exhibiting great agility and they thus require a trained pilot to operate them, while being restricted to line‐of‐sight range. The scenario is the demonstration of high‐level tele‐operation of a single MAV for an inspection task. The goal is to enable an inspection expert untrained in piloting MAVs (e.g. trained boiler inspector) to tele‐operate a MAV as an aid to his/her mission, while being able to focus on the inspection task at hand. This has never been possible before as the complexity of MAV control has been too high, requiring expert piloting skills so far. The participants will need to set up a framework to perform localization and state estimation of the MAV without any external positioning systems (e.g. GPS or motion capturing systems), perform autonomous local obstacle avoidance, local path planning, following of structures under restricting time constraints and homing of the MAV.

Summary

Motivation:

  • Inspection and Surveillance through micro aerial robots (MAV) opens absolutely new applications in servicing of large plants and infrastructures
  • (Semi-)autonomous operation to assist inspection experts without piloting skills
  • High altitude and dangerous environments

 

RTD Issues:

  • Highly reliable vision-only navigation
  • No / restricted GPS with indoor and outdoor operation
  • Dynamic control of MAVs in challenging industrial environments
  • High-level task allocation by mission expert (e.g. "Follow this wall")
  • Real 3D tasks, no 2.5D assumptions (e.g. true omni-directional obstacle detection)
  • Robust perception in challenging environments (e.g. dark, dusty, cluttered)
  • Multi-sensor fusion (e.g. what to do if a sensor fails)
  • Path and task planning
  • Interaction with operator (non-expert “pilots”)

 

Challenge Platform:

  • Hardware:
    • Revised and enhanced version of the sFly hex-rotor helicopter AscTes Firefly
    • Optimized for size and weight (safety & flight time)
    • Sufficient payload capability for on-board computers & VI-sensor, challenger/end-user payloads
    • Novel flight control / autopilot hardware AscTec Trinity
    • Visual-inertial SLAM sensor
  • Software:
    • Versatile interface options
    • Fast on-board computing for user control loops, sensing algorithms, etc.
    • Reliable flight control, always available as fall-back solution

 

Support from Challenge Host (Autonomous Systems Lab & Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control @ ETH Zurich):

  • Help with software integration, building blocks for MAV operation/navigation
  • Onsite support for Realistic Labs stage
  • Simulation environment throughout the challenge

Support from Technology Developers (Ascending Technologies):

  • General MAV platform support
  • Help with electrical/mechanical integration of on-board sensors and electronics
  • MAV/Autopilot interfaces

Support from System Integrator (Alstom Inspection Robotics):

  • Advice and support for the proposed industrial use cases
  • Supporting the relationship to the end users
  • Practical support for onsite demonstrations

Roles:

  • Research Experts:
    • ETHZ
    • CREATE-PRISMA Lab
    • DLR
  • Technology Supplier:
    • Ascending Technologies
  • System Integrator:
    • Alstom Inspection Robotics
  • Platform Host:
    • ETHZ

 

Benchmark Environment:

  • Realistic set-up on an industrial infrastructure: pipework and infrastructure for energy-/fuel-/operating material supply.

 

Contact:

 



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News

29.10.2015

EuRoC coordinator wins Guido Dorso Award

2015-10-29 10:30 CET

On the 15th october, the EuRoC coordinator Prof. Bruno Siciliano has been the recipient of the 36th edition of the "Guido Dorso Award" in the section...read more

Category: eurocNews

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Events

29.06.2015

EuRoC C1 Platform Introduction Day

Date: 2015-06-29 till 2015-06-30

Type:Info Day

Venue: Fraunhofer Institut IPA, Nobelstr. 12, 70569 Stuttgart, Germanyread more

Category: eurocFutureEvents, eurocEvents

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