Vessel Inspection: A Micro-Aerial Vehicle-based Approach

Authors Alberto Ortiz Rodriguez | Francisco Bonnín Pascual | Emilio García Fidalgo
In Journal of Intelligent & Robotic Systems, Springer Netherlands, vol. 76, no. 1, pp. 151-167, September, 2014.

Vessel maintenance entails periodic visual inspections of the internal and external parts of the hull in order to detect the typical defective situations affecting metallic structures, such as coating breakdown, corrosion, cracks, etc. The main goal of project MINOAS is the automation of the inspection process, currently undertaken by human surveyors, by means of a fleet of robotic agents. This paper overviews an approach to the inspection problem based on an autonomous Micro Aerial Vehicle (MAV) which, as part of this fleet, is in charge of regularly supplying images that can teleport the surveyor from a base station to the areas of the hull to be inspected. The control software approach adopted for the MAV is fully described, with a special emphasis on the self-localization capabilities of the vehicle. Experimental results showing the suitability of the platform to the application are as well reported and discussed.


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