Smartphones power flying robots

Giuseppe Loianno, Yash Mulgaonkar, Chris Brunner, Dheeraj Ahuja, Arvind Ramanandan, Murali Chari, Serafin Diaz, Vijay Kumar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Consumer grade technology seen in cameras and phones has led to the price/performance ratio of sensors and processors falling dramatically over the last decade. In particular, most devices are packaged with a camera, a gyroscope, and an accelerometer, important sensors for aerial robotics. The low mass and small form factor make them particularly well suited for autonomous flight with small flying robots, especially in GPS-denied environments. In this work, we present the first fully autonomous smartphone-based quadrotor. All the computation, sensing and control runs on an off-the-shelf smartphone, with all the software functionality in a smartphone app.We show how quadrotors can be stabilized and controlled to achieve autonomous flight in indoor buildings with application to smart homes, search and rescue, construction and architecture. The work allows any consumer with a smartphone to autonomously drive a quadrotor robot platform, even without GPS, by downloading an app, and concurrently build 3-D maps.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIROS Hamburg 2015 - Conference Digest
Subtitle of host publicationIEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781479999941
StatePublished - Dec 11 2015
EventIEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2015 - Hamburg, Germany
Duration: Sep 28 2015Oct 2 2015

Publication series

NameIEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
ISSN (Print)2153-0858
ISSN (Electronic)2153-0866


OtherIEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2015


  • Cameras
  • Robot sensing systems
  • Smart phones
  • Software
  • Vehicles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Software
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Science Applications


Dive into the research topics of 'Smartphones power flying robots'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this