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A Finite-State Machine for Collaborative Airlift with a Formation of Unmanned Air Vehicles


The article presents a finite-state machine, or FSM, for multi-vehicle airlift and experimental results of untethered multi-quadrotor flight. The rationale is as follows: before attaching a payload to a group of drones and deploying these vehicles in difficult conditions and environments, one must ensure that the FSM coordinates, for all the vehicles, the phases of airlift and assigns waypoints in a coherent manner and in real-time. The experiments demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed FSM from a high-level control point of view, under nominal and degraded conditions of flight, albeit without an actual payload. The experiments therefore provide a needed preliminary study on the validity of the FSM concept prior to further refinements and tests.

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Correspondence to C. A. Rabbath.

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Rabbath, C.A. A Finite-State Machine for Collaborative Airlift with a Formation of Unmanned Air Vehicles. J Intell Robot Syst 70, 233–253 (2013).

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  • Finite-state machine
  • Airlift
  • Multi-vehicle control
  • Cooperative control
  • UAVs
  • Drones
  • Experiments