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