The goal of this project is to demonstrate a proof of concept for an
autonomous aerial search and resue robot. The system is a scaled down
version employing a micro-aerial vehicle as the platform and a stuffed
toy as the subject. We have developed an autonomous quadrotor that
will navigate, avoid obstacles, explore, detect a subject of interest
and rescue the subject autonomously in an unstructured and unknown
outdoor environment.

The quadrotor was assembled from a development kit provided by 3D
Robotics, that included the frame, motors and microcontroller. The
platform localizes using a GPS and senses its attitude using an
onboard IMU shield. Additionally, we receive range scans using a
2-Dimensional LiDAR to detect obstacles. A camera is used for image
processing such as subject detection. The entire processing of this
system is handled by a single board computer (SBC) mounted on the
quadrotor. We incorporated ROS to develop the entire software
framework and communicate with the microcontroller and the ground
station via the MAVLink protocol. Finally to complete the scope of the
mission, we have mounted a rescue mechanism that can be deployed to
lift the subject of interest.


YouTube Video