Human-inspired control logic for automated maneuvering of miniature helicopter

V. Gavrilets, B. Mettler, E. Feron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


The maneuvering control logic that was developed to implement acrobatic maneuvers fully automatically on a miniature helicopter is described. The key component of this system is a state-machine maneuver execution logic that was inspired by an analysis of human pilot strategies. Conventional multivariable trim trajectory controllers were used before and on the exit from the maneuvers; bumpless transfer between these control modes was achieved through re-initialization of controller integrator states. Flight tests with this control logic demonstrated smooth maneuver entry, automatic recovery to a steady-state trim trajectory, and an ability to sequence maneuvers in a fully autonomous airshow-like sequence. This approach was flight tested with split-S, hammerhead, and 360-deg axial roll maneuvers, as well as a split-S-hamraerhead maneuver sequence. The maneuvering control logic can be used to automate a variety of other maneuvers.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)752-759
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004
Externally publishedYes

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