Performing acrobatic manoeuvres with quadrotors is extremely challenging. Acrobatic flight requires high thrust and extreme angular accelerations that push the platform to its physical limits. Professional drone pilots often measure their level of mastery by flying such manoeuvres in competitions.

In this work, we propose to learn a sensorimotor policy that enables an autonomous quadrotor to fly extreme acrobatic maneuvers with only onboard sensing and computation. We train the policy entirely in simulation by leveraging demonstrations from an optimal controller that has access to privileged information. We use appropriate abstractions of the visual input to enable transfer to a real quadrotor.

We show that the resulting policy can be directly deployed in the physical world without any fine-tuning on real data. Our methodology has several favorable properties: it does not require a human expert to provide demonstrations, it cannot harm the physical system during training, and it can be used to learn manoeuvres that are challenging even for the best human pilots.

Our approach enables a physical quadrotor to fly manoeuvres such as the Power Loop, the Barrel Roll, and the Matty Flip, during which it incurs accelerations of up to 3g.

Reference: E. Kaufmann, A. Loquercio, R. Ranftl, M. Müller, V. Koltun, D. Scaramuzza “Deep Drone Acrobatics”, Robotics: Science and Systems (RSS), 2020

The full 10-page paper can be accessed here.

Affiliations: E. Kaufmann, A. Loquercio and D. Scaramuzza are with the Robotics and Perception Group, Dep. of Informatics, University of Zurich, and Dep. of Neuroinformatics, University of Zurich and ETH Zurich, Switzerland 

R. Ranftl, M. Müller and V. Koltun are with Intel Labs  

Source: YouTube

UAV DACH: Beitrag im Original auf, mit freundlicher Genehmigung von UAS Vision automatisch importiert. Der Beitrag gibt nicht unbedingt die Meinung oder Position des UAV DACH e.V. wieder. Das Original ist in englischer Sprache.