Aerial Transportation of Unknown Payloads: Adaptive Path Tracking for Quadrotors

Viswa N. Sankaranarayanan1 Spandan Roy1 Simone Baldi2

1 IIIT Hyderabad, India 2 School of Mathematics, Southeast University, Nanjing, China & TU-Delft, Netherlands

With the advent of intelligent transport, quadrotors are becoming an attractive aerial transport solution during emergency evacuations, construction works etc. During such operations, dynamic variations in (possibly unknown) payload and unknown external disturbances cause considerable control challenges for path tracking algorithms. In fact, the state-dependent nature of the resulting uncertainties makes state-of-the-art adaptive control solutions ineffective against such uncertainties that can be completely unknown and possibly unbounded a priori. This paper, to the best of the knowledge of the authors, proposes the first adaptive control solution for quadrotors, which does not require any a priori knowledge of the parameters of quadrotor dynamics as well as of external disturbances. The stability of the closed-loop system is studied analytically via Lyapunov theory and the effectiveness of the proposed solution is verified on a realistic simulator.