Robotics is often defined as the “intelligent connection of perception to action” (M. Bradley, “Artificial Intelligence and Robotics”, MIT, 1984 [Link]).

Agile Quadrotors Flight Using Active Vision

Quadrotors are very agile, yet simple aerial vehicles, and recent work showed they can execute extremely complex maneuvers. Most of this work relies on motion-capture systems for state estimation, preventing those machines from exploiting their potentials in the real world. Conversely, I am interested in executing agile flight with quadrotors using solely onboard sensing (namely, a single camera and an IMU) and computing. This leads to a number of interesting challenges and open questions, since perception and control cannot be treated as two separated problems. On the contrary, it is necessary to create synergy between perception and action by coupling them (active vision). Examples of such aggressive maneuvers are passing through narrow inclined gaps and flying at high speed in cluttered unknown environments.