CLEAR: Cooperative Long Endurance Missions with Aerial Robots

Funded by the Spanish Ministry of Innovation and Science, belonging to subprogramme Fundamental Unoriented Research Projects within the National Program of Fundamental Research Projects in the VI National Plan for Scientific Research, Development and Innovation 2008-2011.



The main objective of this project is the research, development and implementation of a system with cooperative aerial and ground robots for the performance of large and very large endurance missions involving automatic recharging of batteries or refuelling. The system will integrate two different approaches: 1) application of a cooperative system with multiple robots in such a way that functionalities can be maintained while some of the robots recharge batteries or are refuelled; and 2) apply innovative technologies for refuelling or recharge batteries. In this coordinated project the two approaches are combined.

Following the approach 1) new cooperation methods involving aerial and ground robots will be applied to maintain long endurance missions in indoor and outdoor scenarios. This approach involves high accuracy landing for automatic refuelling or recharge batteries, including the landing of aerial robots on ground robots, and the use of a tether from the ground robot to the aerial robot. This objective also includes the development of new methods for range only positioning and simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) and methods for the planning of the cooperative missions. This approach will be the subject of Subproject 1 to be developed by the University of Seville.

The approach 2) consists on the design of an ultra light unmanned aerial system (UAS) with long endurance by means of the application of the laser beaming technology for in flight battery recharging. This approach will be the subject of the Subproject 2 to be developed by the Centre for Advance Aerospace Technologies (FADA-CATEC).