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Design and implementation of a hybrid fuzzy logic controller for a quadrotor VTOL vehicle

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Helicopters have generated considerable interest in both the control community due to their complex dynamics, and in military community because of their advantages over regular aerial vehicles. In this paper, we present the modeling and control of a four rotor vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned air vehicle known as quadrotor aircraft. This model has been generated using Newton-Euler equations. In order to control the helicopter, classical PD (proportional derivative) and Hybrid Fuzzy PD controllers have been designed. Although fuzzy control of various dynamical systems has been presented in literature, application of this technology to quadrotor helicopter control is quite new. A quadrotor helicopter has nonlinear characteristics where classical control methods are not adequate especially when there are time delays, disturbances and nonlinear vehicle dynamics. On the other hand, Fuzzy control is nonlinear and it is thus suitable for nonlinear system control. Matlab Simulink has been used to test, analyze and compare the performance of the controllers in simulations. For the evaluation of the autonomous flight controllers, some experiments were also performed. For this purpose, an experimental test stand has been designed and manufactured. This study showed that although, both of the classical PD and the Fuzzy PD controllers can control the system properly, the Fuzzy PD controllers performed slightly better than the classical PD controllers, and have benefits such as better disturbance rejection, ease of building the controllers.

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Correspondence to Erdinç Altuğ.

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Recommended by Editorial Board member Young Soo Suh under the direction of Editor Jae Weon Choi.

This work was supported in part by the Aviation Research and Development Project (HAGU) at the Istanbul Technical University.

Bora Erginer received his B.S. degree in Department of Mechanical Engineering from Yıldız Technical University in 2003, and his M.S. degree in mechanical engineering in Istanbul Technical University, in 2007. His research interests include control, sensors, and modeling.

Erdinç Altuğ received his B.S. degree in Department of Mechanical Engineering from Middle East Technical University in 1996, an M.S. degree from Carnegie Mellon University, and a Ph.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 2003. His research interests include robotics, control, and unmanned systems.

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Erginer, B., Altuğ, E. Design and implementation of a hybrid fuzzy logic controller for a quadrotor VTOL vehicle. Int. J. Control Autom. Syst. 10, 61–70 (2012).

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