Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology has advanced rapidly in the last decade, making wide-ranging applications (e.g., automated remote sensing, precision agriculture, emergency response, reconnaissance & surveillance) a near-term reality. A key building block that is yet to be developed is a solution that enables safe beyondline-of-sight flight, preventing uncontrolled vehicle behaviour in the event of failures such as GPS signal loss. The goal of this project is to develop a vision-based navigation solution that enables UAVs to safely return home when they lose their means of localization (i.e., GPS).

The University of Toronto (UofT) has been developing visual route-following techniques for ground vehicles for the past decade and gained extensive experience in practical deployments during field trials. This project will require major extensions including the adaptation of the ground-based visual navigation framework to aerial applications and the development of new techniques for path planning and localization that guarantee robust path-tracking and safe return. Moreover, safety solutions as proposed here will help to accelerate the development of a regulatory framework for the commercial use of UAVs in beyond-line-of-sight applications.

Industry Partner(s):Drone Delivery Canada

Academic Institution:University of Toronto

Academic Researcher: Tim Barfoot

Focus Areas: Cities, Mining, Water

Platforms: Parallel CPU