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A Reliable Open-Source System Architecture for the Fast Designing and Prototyping of Autonomous Multi-UAV Systems: Simulation and Experimentation


During the process of design and development of an autonomous Multi-UAV System, two main problems appear. The first one is the difficulty of designing all the modules and behaviors of the aerial multi-robot system. The second one is the difficulty of having an autonomous prototype of the system for the developers that allows to test the performance of each module even in an early stage of the project. These two problems motivate this paper. A multipurpose system architecture for autonomous multi-UAV platforms is presented. This versatile system architecture can be used by the system designers as a template when developing their own systems. The proposed system architecture is general enough to be used in a wide range of applications, as demonstrated in the paper. This system architecture aims to be a reference for all designers. Additionally, to allow for the fast prototyping of autonomous multi-aerial systems, an Open Source framework based on the previously defined system architecture is introduced. It allows developers to have a flight proven multi-aerial system ready to use, so that they can test their algorithms even in an early stage of the project. The implementation of this framework, introduced in the paper with the name of “CVG Quadrotor Swarm”, which has also the advantages of being modular and compatible with different aerial platforms, can be found at with a consistent catalog of available modules. The good performance of this framework is demonstrated in the paper by choosing a basic instance of it and carrying out simulation and experimental tests whose results are summarized and discussed in this paper.

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Correspondence to Jose Luis Sanchez-Lopez.

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Sanchez-Lopez, J.L., Pestana, J., de la Puente, P. et al. A Reliable Open-Source System Architecture for the Fast Designing and Prototyping of Autonomous Multi-UAV Systems: Simulation and Experimentation. J Intell Robot Syst 84, 779–797 (2016).

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  • Aerial robotics
  • Distributed robot systems
  • Multi-robot coordination
  • System architecture
  • Open-source
  • Visual navigation
  • Quadrotor
  • Mobile robots
  • Remotely operated vehicles
  • MAV