CARRE Fall Seminar Series 2017 – Prof. Inna Sharf

October 13, 2017 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
UTIAS, Lecture Hall
Yani Macute


Towards Greater Autonomy and Safety of UAVs: Collision Recovery for Quadcopters



Making small unmanned aerial vehicles more autonomous is a continuing endeavour in the UAV research community; it is also the focus of Sharf’s research. In this context, her group has been working on problems of state estimation, localization and mapping, system integration and controller design for multicopters and indoor blimps. Following a brief overview of past research projects, this presentation will focus on current work on the development of collision recovery controllers for quadcopters. The collision dynamics model and post-collision response characterization of the quadrotor are presented, followed by their experimental validation. A collision recover pipeline is proposed to allow propeller protected quadrotors to recover from a collision. This pipeline includes collision detection, impact characterization and aggressive attitude control. The strategy is validated via a comprehensive Monte Carlo simulation of collisions against a wall and a pole,  showing the feasibility of recovery from challenging collision scenarios. The pipeline is implemented on a custom quadrotor platform, demonstrating feasibility of real-time performance and successful recovery from a range of pre-collision conditions. The ultimate goal is to implement a general collision recovery solution to further advance the autonomy and safety of quadrotor vehicles.


Dr. Inna Sharf is a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. She received her B.A.Sc. in Engineering Science from the University of Toronto (1986) and her PhD at the Institute for Aerospace Studies, University of Toronto (1991). Prior to relocating to McGill in 2001, she was on faculty with the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Victoria. Sharf’s research activities are in the areas of dynamics and control with applications to space robotic systems, unmanned aerial vehicles and legged robots. Sharf has published over 150 conference and journal papers on her academic research. She is an associate fellow of AIAA and a member of IEEE.

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