Autonomous dirigibles - aerial robots that are a blimp controlled by computer based on information gathered by sensors - are a new and promising research field in Robotics, offering several original work opportunities. One of them is the study of visual navigation of UAVs. In the work described in this paper, a Computer Vision and Control system was developed to perform automatically very simple navigation task for a small indoor blimp. The vision system is able to track artificial visual beacons - objects with known geometrical properties - and from them a geometrical methodology can extract information about orientation of the blimp. The tracking of natural landmarks is also a possibility for the vision technique developed. The control system uses that data to keep the dirigible on a programmed orientation. Experimental results showing the correct and efficient functioning of the system are shown and have your implications and future possibilities discussed.
Mario F.M. Campos,
Lucio de Souza Coelho,
"Visual navigation system for autonomous indoor blimps", Proc. SPIE 3716, Visual Information Processing VIII, (21 July 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.354710; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.354710