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A Survey on Aerial Swarm Robotics

Chung, Soon-Jo and Paranjape, Aditya and Dames, Philip and Shen, Shaojie and Kumar, Vijay (2018) A Survey on Aerial Swarm Robotics. IEEE Transactions on Robotics, 34 (4). pp. 837-855. ISSN 1552-3098.

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The use of aerial swarms to solve real-world problems has been increasing steadily, accompanied by falling prices and improving performance of communication, sensing, and processing hardware. The commoditization of hardware has reduced unit costs, thereby lowering the barriers to entry to the field of aerial swarm robotics. A key enabling technology for swarms is the family of algorithms that allow the individual members of the swarm to communicate and allocate tasks amongst themselves, plan their trajectories, and coordinate their flight in such a way that the overall objectives of the swarm are achieved efficiently. These algorithms, often organized in a hierarchical fashion, endow the swarm with autonomy at every level, and the role of a human operator can be reduced, in principle, to interactions at a higher level without direct intervention. This technology depends on the clever and innovative application of theoretical tools from control and estimation. This paper reviews the state of the art of these theoretical tools, specifically focusing on how they have been developed for, and applied to, aerial swarms. Aerial swarms differ from swarms of ground-based vehicles in two respects: they operate in a three-dimensional space and the dynamics of individual vehicles adds an extra layer of complexity. We review dynamic modeling and conditions for stability and controllability that are essential in order to achieve cooperative flight and distributed sensing. The main sections of this paper focus on major results covering trajectory generation, task allocation, adversarial control, distributed sensing, monitoring, and mapping. Wherever possible, we indicate how the physics and subsystem technologies of aerial robots are brought to bear on these individual areas.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Chung, Soon-Jo0000-0002-6657-3907
Paranjape, Aditya0000-0002-3164-3215
Dames, Philip0000-0002-7257-0075
Shen, Shaojie0000-0002-5573-2909
Kumar, Vijay0000-0002-3902-9391
Additional Information:© 2018 IEEE. Manuscript received June 19, 2018; accepted July 11, 2018. Date of publication August 3, 2018; date of current version August 15, 2018. This paper was recommended for publication by Editor F. Park upon evaluation of the reviewers’ comments. The authors would like to thank F. Park for guidance and encouragement. The authors would also like to thank S. Rahili for his comments and L. Kass for her editorial assistance.
Subject Keywords:Aerial robotics, distributed robot systems, networked robots
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180717-112943069
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:S. Chung, A. A. Paranjape, P. Dames, S. Shen and V. Kumar, "A Survey on Aerial Swarm Robotics," in IEEE Transactions on Robotics, vol. 34, no. 4, pp. 837-855, Aug. 2018. doi: 10.1109/TRO.2018.2857475
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:87925
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:17 Jul 2018 19:44
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 20:01

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