Micro Air Vehicles

Obstacle avoidance remains a daunting challenge for unmanned vehicles. The success of platforms like the Predator and Raven has  been largely due to the generally benign obstacle-free environment in which they operate, which allows for highly autonomous operation. The Unmanned Systems Roadmap stated that "The single most important near-term technical challenge facing unmanned systems is to develop an autonomous capability to assess and respond appropriately to near-field objects in their path of travel."

Autonomy is often touted as the solution to unmanned system challenges. However, autonomy alone is unlikely to provide a solution to navigation in complex urban environments in the foreseeable future. We have used our Coactive Design approach to develop a system that uses teamwork between the MAV and the human to enable effective navigation in complex  environments. We refer to our system as Human-Machine Team (HMT) navigation and have demonstrated its effectiveness in our robotics lab. We are currently extending our approach to work in outdoor environments.


MAV Team:

  • Matt Johnson
  • John Carff
  • Daniel Duran