Shared control: Balancing autonomy and human assistance with a group of quadrotor UAVs

Antonio Franchi, Cristian Secchi, Markus Ryll, Heinrich Bülthoff, Paolo Robuffo Giordano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

162 Citations (Scopus)


A unified framework that allows letting the group of UAVs autonomously control its topology in a safe and stable manner and suitable incorporation of some skilled human operators in the control loop is described. Various experiments were run in a test bed, which includes a group of quadrotors (QR) and two haptic interfaces integrated in a flexible software framework. The control architecture allows the integration of a topological motion controller, a human assistance module, and a force-feedback possibility to increase the telepresence of human assistants. Results show that the actions of the human command and obstacle avoidance produce a rotation of the whole formation, thus allowing to overcome the obstacles . The motion of the UAVs leads to several split and rejoins, triggering in some cases the tank/spring energy exchange needed to preserve passivity of the slave side described in the 'Ensuring a Stable Behavior of the Agent Group' section.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6290692
Pages (from-to)57-68
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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