UAV / UGV Air-Ground Collaboration


This project is concerned with the development of a distributed estimation system of collaborating UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) and AGVs (Autonomous Ground Vehicles) that detect, track and estimate the location of a person, vehicle or object of interest on the ground. The collaborating team executes search, pursuit and localization strategies to improve the estimate of the target's location. The project goal is to deliver autonomy that increases situational awareness in reconnaissance tasks while reducing operator workload.

The mission for the collaborating team starts with a small UAV with downward facing camera flying above the target. The camera streams video and telemetry information via a radio link down to a ground station where a human user will select the target of interest in the image. Once selected the UAV will continue to track the target in the camera images maintaining an estimate of the target's location. The target's location is communicated to the rest of the team of autonomous agents which then move into position to observe the target.

There are several components which form together into the distributed estimation system;

1. The visual detection and tracking of the target in the small UAV's camera images

2. Estimation of the target's location on the ground.

  1. 3.The decentralized fusion of estimates from collaborating autonomous agents.

  2. 4.Collaborative control strategies for agents to search for and improve the estimate of the target's location.