Firefighting UAVs


Intelligent Systems Lab collaborates with Drone Hopper company to develop heavy payload multirotor platforms to be used as firefighting quick-response UAVs, capable of transporting and realising water and additives, at a low altitude, over the fire. The platform consists of a hexacopter multirotor powered by 6 propellers, which enables quick and efficient response to common uncontrolled fires and support each firefighting brigade to increase flexibility and overall performance. The firefighting UAV is based on a novel methodology to reach the objectives of an autonomous firefighting drone in forest and urban environments, where the use of perception systems, such as cameras and multi-plane lasers, and satellite navigation devices allow to extract accurate environment data and analyse them in order to extract information and knowledge of interest to extinguish the fire of the environment. The data fusion of perception systems and positioning by satellite navigation is a mandatory issue and allows to indicate the physical presence of aerial obstacles within the field of view of the autonomous drone by identifying visual attributes and classifying the overall information to be translated to knowledge. So, vision-based systems, laser scanners, inertial measurement units and multi-constellation GNSS devices are capable to enrich and improve the data fusion structures into low-high level control architectures to activate actuators in real-time to accomplish complex and safe active manoeuvres of the firefighting UAV. That is, the embedded architecture focuses on the injection of accurate perception data and self-flying knowledge to the automatic control embedded device of the high-capabilities UAV with accurate decision-making to estimate the complex behaviour of autonomous manoeuvres in firefighting environments.