M. Popovic: An Informative Path Planning (IPP) Framework for UAV-based Terrain Monitoring

Bio Information

Marija Popovic is a Research Associate at the Smart Robotics Lab at Imperial College London. She received her Ph.D. from ETH Zurich in 2019 and her Master in Engineering in Integrated Mechanical and Electrical Engineering from the University of Bath in 2015. Her research interests lie in the areas of active perception and path planning for autonomous mobile systems, focusing on applications in agricultural robotics.

Presentation Abstract

Unmanned aerial vehicles represent a new frontier in a wide range of sensing applications. To fully leverage their potential, a key challenge is planning missions for efficient data acquisition in complex environments. To address this issue, we introduce a general informative path planning framework for monitoring scenarios using an aerial robot.

The approach is capable of focusing on regions of interest via adaptation to map either discrete or continuous variables on the terrain using variable-resolution data received from probabilistic sensors. During a mission, the terrain maps built online are used to plan information-rich trajectories in continuous 3-D space by optimizing initial solutions obtained by a coarse grid search. Extensive simulations show that our approach is more efficient than existing methods. We also demonstrate its real-time application in a field deployment for agricultural monitoring.


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