PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to facilitate autonomous landing of a multi-rotor unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) on a moving/tilting platform using a robust vision-based approach.Design/methodology/approachAutonomous landing of a multi-rotor UAV on a moving or tilting platform of unknown orientation in a GPS-denied and vision-compromised environment presents a challenge to common autopilot systems. The paper proposes a robust visual data processing system based on targets’ Oriented FAST and Rotated BRIEF features to estimate the UAV’s three-dimensional pose in real time.FindingsThe system is able to visually locate and identify the unique landing platform based on a cooperative marker with an error rate of 1° or less for all roll, pitch and yaw angles.Practical implicationsThe proposed vision-based system aims at on-board use and increased reliability without a significant change to the computational load of the UAV.Originality/valueThe simplicity of the training procedure gives the process the flexibility needed to use a marker of any unknown/irregular shape or dimension. The process can be easily tweaked to respond to different cooperative markers. The on-board computationally inexpensive process can be added to off-the-shelf autopilots.
International Journal of Intelligent Unmanned Systems – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 1, 2019
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