We received the First Prize in the competition “Cooperative Aerial Robots Inspection Challenge”, that took place during the flagship 62nd IEEE Conference on Decision and Control (CDC 2023), on 13-15 December 2023, in Singapore.
The “Cooperative Aerial Robots Inspection Challenge” (CARIC), utilizing open-source tools, aimed to accelerate the development of efficient and versatile multi-UAV systems for heterogeneous inspection tasks. The challenge’s scope encompassed the inspection of infrastructure in three diverse scenarios, employing a fleet of heterogeneous UAVs. At its core, the primary objective of an inspection mission is to capture images on the surface of various structures at the highest possible quality, and CARIC provided a standardized metric for evaluating different cooperative inspection schemes.
The team, consisting of Angelos Zacharia, Research Engineer I, Andreas Anastasiou, PhD Candidate, Dr. Savvas Papaioannou, Research Associate, Research Assist. Prof. Panayiotis Kolios, as well as Professors Christos Panayiotou and Marios Polycarpou, proposed an innovative cooperative strategy that effectively coordinates the operation of multiple robots to address the infrastructure inspection problem. Specifically, the team developed a distributed coordination multi-tasking algorithms that has outperformed the competition in 3D, reconstructing the search area in a robust manner (for obstacle avoidance) and thereafter inspecting the 3D structures (in both outdoor and indoor settings), to extract important features as fast as possible, by controlling both the drone trajectory and its camera gimbal settings in a joined fashion.
The developed solution secured the top ranking among 19 international teams. The evaluation of submitted solutions was carried out by the organizing committee, consisting of five experts in the field, with assessments grounded in inspection quality, infrastructure coverage, and execution time.
The award ceremony took place on the 14th of December 2023, during the CDC Banquet Dinner, in the presence of more than 2000 conference participants.