Abstract

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), although hardly a new technology, have recently gained a prominent role in many industries being widely used not only among enthusiastic consumers, but also in high demanding professional situations, and will have a massive societal impact over the coming years. However, the operation of UAVs is fraught with serious safety risks, such as collisions with dynamic obstacles (birds, other UAVs, or randomly thrown objects). These collision scenarios are complex to analyze in real-time, sometimes being computationally impossible to solve with existing State of the Art (SoA) algorithms, making the use of UAVs an operational hazard and therefore significantly reducing their commercial applicability in urban environments. In this work, a conceptual framework for both stand-alone and swarm (networked) UAVs is introduced, with a focus on the architectural requirements of the collision avoidance subsystem to achieve acceptable levels of safety and reliability. The SoA principles for collision avoidance against stationary objects are reviewed and a novel approach is described, using deep learning techniques to solve the computational intensive problem of real-time collision avoidance with dynamic objects. The proposed framework includes a web-interface allowing the full control of UAVs as remote clients with a supervisor cloud-based platform. The feasibility of the proposed approach was demonstrated through experimental tests using a UAV, developed from scratch using the proposed framework. Test flight results are presented for an autonomous UAV monitored from multiple countries across the world.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3533
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalRemote Sensing
Volume12
Issue number21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2020

Keywords

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Collision avoidance
  • Deep learning
  • Drones
  • Framework
  • Machine learning
  • Neuronal network
  • Resilience
  • UAV

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