Cooperative autonomous search, grasping, and delivering in a treasure hunt scenario by a team of unmanned aerial vehicles

Vojtěch Spurný, Tomáš Báča, Martin Saska, Robert Pěnička, Tomáš Krajník, Justin Thomas, Dinesh Thakur, Giuseppe Loianno, Vijay Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper addresses the problem of autonomous cooperative localization, grasping and delivering of colored ferrous objects by a team of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). In the proposed scenario, a team of UAVs is required to maximize the reward by collecting colored objects and delivering them to a predefined location. This task consists of several subtasks such as cooperative coverage path planning, object detection and state estimation, UAV self-localization, precise motion control, trajectory tracking, aerial grasping and dropping, and decentralized team coordination. The failure recovery and synchronization job manager is used to integrate all the presented subtasks together and also to decrease the vulnerability to individual subtask failures in real-world conditions. The whole system was developed for the Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge (MBZIRC) 2017, where it achieved the highest score and won Challenge No. 3—Treasure Hunt. This paper does not only contain results from the MBZIRC 2017 competition but it also evaluates the system performance in simulations and field tests that were conducted throughout the year-long development and preparations for the competition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-148
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Field Robotics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • aerial robotics
  • cooperative robots
  • mobile manipulation
  • planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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