MICRO AND MACRO QUADCOPTER DRONES FOR INDOOR MAPPING TO SUPPORT DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Keywords: Crazyflie, UAV, IMU, micro robot, mobile laser scanning, obstacle avoidance
Abstract. The use of drones to explore indoor spaces has gained attention and popularity for disaster management and indoor navigation applications. In this paper we present the operations and mapping techniques of two drones that are different in terms of size, the sensors deployed, and the positioning and mapping techniques used. The first drone is a low-cost commercial quadcopter microdrone, a Crazyflie, while the second drone is a relatively expensive research quadcopter macrodrone, called MAX. We investigated their feasibility in mapping areas where satellite positioning is not available, such as indoor spaces. We compared the point clouds obtained by a multi-ranger deck, a multi-layer LIDAR scanner and a stereo camera, and assessed each against ground truth obtained with a terrestrial laser scanner. Results showed that both drones are capable of mapping relatively cluttered indoor environments and can provide point clouds that are sufficient for a quick exploration. Furthermore, the LIDAR scanner-based system can handle a relatively large office environment with an accumulated drift less than 0.02% (1 cm) on the Z-axis and 0.77% (50 cm) on the X and Y axes over a length trajectory of about 65 m. Despite the limited features of the sensor configuration of the Crazyflie, its performance is promising for mapping indoor spaces, given the relatively low deviation from the ground truth: cloud-to-cloud distances measured were generally less than 20 cm.