SFly: Swarm of micro flying robots

Markus Achtelik, Michael Achtelik, Yorick Brunet, Margarita Chli, Savvas Chatzichristofis, Jean Dominique Decotignie, Klaus Michael Doth, Friedrich Fraundorfer, Laurent Kneip, Daniel Gurdan, Lionel Heng, Elias Kosmatopoulos, Lefteris Doitsidis, Gim Hee Lee, Simon Lynen, Agostino Martinelli, Lorenz Meier, Marc Pollefeys, Damien Piguet, Alessandro RenzagliaDavide Scaramuzza, Roland Siegwart, Jan Stumpf, Petri Tanskanen, Chiara Troiani, Stephan Weiss

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperpeer-review


The SFly project is an EU-funded project, with the goal to create a swarm of autonomous vision controlled micro aerial vehicles. The mission in mind is that a swarm of MAV's autonomously maps out an unknown environment, computes optimal surveillance positions and places the MAV's there and then locates radio beacons in this environment. The scope of the work includes contributions on multiple different levels ranging from theoretical foundations to hardware design and embedded programming. One of the contributions is the development of a new MAV, a hexacopter, equipped with enough processing power for onboard computer vision. A major contribution is the development of monocular visual SLAM that runs in real-time onboard of the MAV. The visual SLAM results are fused with IMU measurements and are used to stabilize and control the MAV. This enables autonomous flight of the MAV, without the need of a data link to a ground station. Within this scope novel analytical solutions for fusing IMU and vision measurements have been derived. In addition to the realtime local SLAM, an offline dense mapping process has been developed. For this the MAV's are equipped with a payload of a stereo camera system. The dense environment map is used to compute optimal surveillance positions for a swarm of MAV's. For this an optimiziation technique based on cognitive adaptive optimization has been developed. Finally, the MAV's have been equipped with radio transceivers and a method has been developed to locate radio beacons in the observed environment.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2012 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2012
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Event25th IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Robotics and Intelligent Systems: IROS 2012 - Vilamoura, Algarve, Portugal
Duration: 7 Oct 201212 Oct 2012


Conference25th IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Robotics and Intelligent Systems
CityVilamoura, Algarve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Software
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Science Applications


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