A study on hovering control of small aerial robot by sensing existing floor features

Chinthaka Premachandra, Dang Ngoc Hoang Thanh, Tomotaka Kimura, Hiroharu Kawanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Since precise self-position estimation is required for autonomous flight of aerial robots, there has been some studies on self-position estimation of indoor aerial robots. In this study, we tackle the self-position estimation problem by mounting a small downward-facing camera on the chassis of an aerial robot. We obtain robot position by sensing the features on the indoor floor. In this work, we used the vertex points (tile corners) where four tiles on a typical tiled floor connected, as an existing feature of the floor. Furthermore, a small lightweight microcontroller is mounted on the robot to perform image processing for the on-board camera. A lightweight image processing algorithm is developed. So, the real-time image processing could be performed by the microcontroller alone which leads to conduct on-board real time tile corner detection. Furthermore, same microcontroller performs control value calculation for flight commanding. The flight commands are implemented based on the detected tile corner information. The above mentioned all devices are mounted on an actual machine, and the effectiveness of the system was investigated.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9128077
Pages (from-to)1016-1025
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE/CAA Journal of Automatica Sinica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jul


  • Hovering control
  • image processing
  • light weight algorithm development
  • self-position estimation
  • small aerial robot
  • tile corner sensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Information Systems
  • Artificial Intelligence


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