Matthias Nieuwenhuisen, Marius Beul, Radu Alexandru Rosu, Jan Quenzel, Dmytro Pavlichenko, Sebastian Houben, and Sven Behnke
Submitted to European Conference on Mobile Robotics (ECMR), 2017
Picking and transporting objects in an outdoor environment with multiple lightweight MAVs is a challenging task. The main challenges are sudden changes of flight dynamics due to altered center of mass and weight, varying light conditions for visual perception, and coordination of the MAVs over unreliable wireless connections.
At the Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge (MBZIRC) teams competed in a pick and place task where three MAVs had to collaboratively pick colored disks and drop them into a designated box. Only little preparation and test time on-site required robust algorithms and easily maintainable systems to successfully achieve the challenge objectives.
We describe our multi-robot system employed at MBZIRC, including a lightweight gripper, a vision system robust against illumination and color changes, and a control architecture allowing to operate multiple robots safely. With our system, we—as part of a larger team of ground and flying robots—won the Grand Challenge and achieved a third place in the Pick and Place Challenge.