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Quadrotor helicopters are often used as aerial drones.  Our lab has a Parrot Drone for experiments (pictured to the right).Their control systems are an interesting problem, since they are open-loop stable and wind disturbances can be severe.  Advanced control systems allow better adaptation to unknown payloads, allow flying in greater wind speeds, and allow greater flight time than conventional controls. 

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In the experiment pictured to the left, we added an unknown payload at one of the rotors and the quadrotor had to instantly adapt.  We used the Cerebellar Model Articulation Controller, with a novel robust modification that ensured no overlearning occurred.  The result was published in Mechatronics.

 

Some of the group's publications on quadrotors are linked to below.  Note that our Mechatronics paper is the number one hit on Google Scholar when one searches "adaptive control quadrotor."

Macnab Publications Macnab, C.J.B, Giving CMAC basis functions a tail in order to prevent bursting in neural-adaptive control.
    IEEE Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics
    (Banff), 2017.

Macnab, C.JB. CMAC Control of a quadrotor helicopter using a stable robust weight-smoothing algorithm.
    IEEE Conference on Control Technology and Applications   
    (Hawaii), 2017.

Clark, T. and C.J.B. Macnab.  Cerebellar Model Articulation Controller with introspective voting weight updates for quadrotor application.
     IEEE Information Technology, Electronics and Mobile Communication Conference
    (Vancouver) pp. 1-7, 2016.

Masaud, K. and C.J.B. Macnab. Preventing bursting in adaptive control using an introspective neural network algorithm,
    Neurocomputing
    Vol. 136, pp. 300–314, 2014.

Masaud, K., and C.J.B. Macnab, An introspective learning algorithm that achieves robust adaptive control of a quadrotor helicopter,
    AIAA infotech@aerospace,
    (Anaheim)  DOI: 10.2514/6.2012-2518  June 2012.

Nicol, C.,  C.J.B. Macnab, and A. Ramirez-Serrano. Robust adaptive control of a quadrotor helicopter.
     Mechatronics
     Vol. 21, No. 6, pp. 927-938, 2011.

Coza, C., C. Nicol, C.J.B Macnab, and A. Ramirez-Serrano. Adaptive fuzzy control for a quadrotor helicopter robust to wind buffeting.
    Journal of Intelligent and Fuzzy Systems,
     Vol. 22, No. 5-6, pp. 267-283, 2011.

Nicol, C., C.J.B. Macnab, and A. Ramirez-Serrano,  Robust neural-network control of a quadrotor helicopter.
    Proc. IEEE Canadian Conference on Electrical and Computer Engineering
   (Niagara Falls), pp. 1233 - 1238, 2008

Coza, C. and C.J.B. Macnab, A new robust adaptive-fuzzy control method applied to quadrotor helicopter stabilization.
     Proc. North American Fuzzy Information Processing Society Annual Meeting
    (Montreal) pp. 454-458, 2006.