How can we create agile micro aerial vehicles that are able to operate autonomously in cluttered indoor and outdoor environments? You will gain an introduction to the mechanics of flight and the design of quadrotor flying robots and will be able to develop dynamic models, derive controllers, and synthesize planners for operating in three dimensional environments. You will be exposed to the challenges of using noisy sensors for localization and maneuvering in complex, three-dimensional environments. Finally, you will gain insights through seeing real world examples of the possible applications and challenges for the rapidly-growing drone industry.
Mathematical prerequisites: Students taking this course are expected to have some familiarity with linear algebra, single variable calculus, and differential equations.
Programming prerequisites: Some experience programming with MATLAB or Octave is recommended (we will use MATLAB in this course.) MATLAB will require the use of a 64-bit computer.
Introduction to Aerial Robotics Welcome to Week 1! In this week, you will be introduced to the exciting field of Unmanned Aerial Robotics (UAVs) and quadrotors in particular. You will learn about their basic mechanics and control strategies and realize how careful component selection and design affect the vehicles' performance. This week also provides you with instructions on how to download and install Matlab. This software will be used throughout this course in exercises and assignments, so it is strongly recommended to familiarize yourself with Matlab soon. Tutorials to help you get started are also provided in this week.
Geometry and Mechanics Welcome to Week 2 of the Robotics: Aerial Robotics course! We hope you are having a good time and learning a lot already! In this week, we will first focus on the kinematics of quadrotors. Then, you will learn how to derive the dynamic equations of motion for quadrotors. To build a better understanding on these notions, some essential mathematical tools are discussed in supplementary material lectures. In this week, you will also complete your first programming assignment on 1-D quadrotor control. If you have not done so already, please download, install, and learn about Matlab before starting the assignment.
Planning and Control Welcome to Week 3! We have developed planar and three-dimensional dynamic models of the quadrotor. This week, you will learn more about how to develop linear controllers for these models. With this knowledge, you will be required to complete the second programming assignment of this course, which focuses on controlling the quadrotor in two dimensions. We encourage you to start working on the assignment soon. This week ends with a discussion on motion planning for quadrotors.
Advanced Topics Welcome to Week 4! So far, we have gone over the basics of developing linear controllers for quadrotors and motion planning. In this last week of the course, we will discuss some more advanced material on how to enable quadrotors to perform more agile maneuvers and to operate autonomously in teams. Note that the last programming assignment on quadrotor control in three dimensions uses material from the previous weeks. It is strongly recommended to start the assignment as soon as possible.
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Although this course is a bit short I learned a lot with it. It begins covering an introduction to the mechanics of quadrotors and its dynamical model. After it teaches very basic PD control techniques for a quadrotor hover or follow a trajectory. Next they present a nonlinear controller very stable through many extreme initial conditions, presenting also how to control a quadrotor using its differential flatness property.
At the end they mention very superficially their techniques regarding multiple quadrotor control, collision avoidance, SLAM.
I found only the last programming assingment challenging and think that there could be more more programming assignments on the later topics of the course.
UPenn has probably the most experienced and skilled staff in Quadrotors subject in the world.