Planar Spline Trajectory Following for an Autonomous Helicopter
Kale Harbick*, James F. Montgomery**, and Gaurav S. Sukhatme*
*Robotic Embedded Systems Laboratory Center for Robotics and Embedded Systems, Department of Computer Science, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0781, U.S.A.
**Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109-8099, U.S.A.
This paper proposes a technique for planar trajectory following for an autonomous aerial robot. A trajectory is modeled as a planar spline. A behavior-based control system which stabilizes the robot and enforces trajectory following, has been implemented and tested on an autonomous helicopter. Results from two flight experiments are presented. The trajectory tracking error is on the order of the size of the robot (1.8m). Given the inherent error in GPS positioning, and environmental disturbances (wind), this is quite reasonable.