Autonomous Robots

, Volume 34, Issue 1–2, pp 19–34 | Cite as

Design of a 3D snapshot based visual flight control system using a single camera in hover

  • Matthew A. Garratt
  • Andrew J. Lambert
  • Hamid Teimoori


The problem of developing a reliable system for sensing and controlling the hover of a Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) using visual snapshots is considered. The current problem is part of a larger project, which is developing an autonomous MAV, controlled by vision only information. A new algorithm is proposed that uses a stored image of the ground, a snapshot taken of the ground directly under the MAV, as a visual anchor point. The absolute translation of the aircraft and its velocity are then calculated by comparing the subsequent frames with the stored image and fed into the position controller. In order to increase the performance, several issues, such as effects of scale uncertainty on the closed loop stability of the platform are investigated. For controller design and testing purposes, we analytically derive a complete model of a small size helicopter with no stabilizing bar (flybar). The simulation results for 2D and 3D snapshots confirm the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm.


Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) Visual guidance Optic flow 



This work was carried out with funding provided by the Australian Defence Science and Technology Organisation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew A. Garratt
    • 1
  • Andrew J. Lambert
    • 1
  • Hamid Teimoori
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Engineering and Information TechnologyUniversity of New South Wales at the Australian Defence Force AcademyCanberraAustralia

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