Posts in State estimation
Active Estimation of Mass Properties for Safe Cooperative Lifting

This paper presents a method by which a team of aerial robots can lift an unknown object by learning about the mass distribution of the object while it is still on the ground. The robots are able to learn about the mass and center-of-mass of the object by applying forces at different locations and by tracking the force required to budge the object or else whether they are not able to do so. We then describe how to select highly informative interactions while simultaneously attaching robots in a configuration that is able to lift the object.

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Choreographing Theatrical Scenes for Aerial Robots through Keyframe Interpolation

Artists and choreographers who wish to employ robots in theatrical productions may have trouble designing dynamically feasible robot trajectories. This short paper describes a simple design approach based on storyboarding, a common method for communicating spatial and temporal motions. Our approach allows a user to move physical robot tokens around a mock-up of the environment. A camera captures snapshots, or “keyframes,” of the user’s design, and a robotics expert or AI planner can then use well-understood trajectory generation methods to create robot trajectories from these keyframes.

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RaD-VIO: Rangefinder-aided Downward Visual-Inertial Odometry

Aerial vehicles require a reliable means of determining how they move for robust flight. A downward looking camera is often used to provide an estimate of the robots motion along the ground. In this work we employ the approximation of the ground underneath as being locally planar and utilize this property in concert with onboard inertial sensors for measuring attitude and a single laser beam based rangefinder to provide fast, robust odometry estimates. Specifically, we include all the sensor information within a unified filtering framework. The focus in this work is to provide a reliable, fast, and robust estimate of odometry that can serve ably as a backup for more sophisticated optimization based odometry algorithms.

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