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Characterization of Actuators, Sensors and Wireless System for Autonomous Tethered Hover of a Mini-Helicopter

R. Vishnu Prasad, B. Bharati Swaroop, C. Venkatesan


Due to the immense potential of autonomous vehicles, several academic institutes and research organizations across the world are trying to develop ground, water and air based intelligent unmanned autonomous robots. This paper presents the research activity taken up at IIT Kanpur, India in the development of an autonomous mini-helicopter. In order to achieve this objective, the research activity was majorly focused on the characterization of sensors (accelerometers, gyroscopes, magnetic sensors, SONAR and GPS), actuators, communication systems (wireless LAN and on-board computer) and their integration in a mini-helicopter platform. This paper focuses on the characterization of servo actuators used in the mini helicopter by experimentally determining their frequency and time response. An experimental study on a rate gyro used in the helicopter is also included. This paper also contains the description of the hardware used for wireless transfer of signals and data between the ground station and on board systems and it also presents the tethered hover test of the mini-helicopter.

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