Vision Guided Landing of an Autonomous Helicopter in Hazardous Terrain

A. Johnson, J. Montgomery, L. Matthies
Proceedings of the 2005 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation  
Future robotic space missions will employ a precision soft-landing capability that will enable exploration of previously inaccessible sites that have strong scientific significance. To enable this capability, a fully autonomous onboard system that identifies and avoids hazardous features such as steep slopes and large rocks is required. Such a system will also provide greater functionality in unstructured terrain to unmanned aerial vehicles. This paper describes an algorithm for landing hazard
more » ... for landing hazard avoidance based on images from a single moving camera. The core of the algorithm is an efficient application of structure from motion to generate a dense elevation map of the landing area. Hazards are then detected in this map and a safe landing site is selected. The algorithm has been implemented on an autonomous helicopter testbed and demonstrated four times resulting in the first autonomous landing of an unmanned helicopter in unknown and hazardous terrain.
doi:10.1109/robot.2005.1570727 dblp:conf/icra/JohnsonMM05 fatcat:zwa3l3dvwffmfdjtcqe7xxdpqa