Swarm Distribution and Deployment for Cooperative Surveillance by Micro-Aerial Vehicles

Martin Saska, Vojtěch Vonásek, Jan Chudoba, Justin Thomas, Giuseppe Loianno, Vijay Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The task of cooperative surveillance of pre-selected Areas of Interest (AoI) in outdoor environments by groups of closely cooperating Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs) is tackled in this paper. In the cooperative surveillance mission, finding distributions of the MAVs in the environment to properly cover the AoIs and finding feasible trajectories to reach the obtained surveillance locations from the initial depot are crucial tasks that have to be fulfilled. In addition, motion constraints of the employed MAVs, environment constraints (e.g. non-fly zones), and constraints imposed by localization of members of the groups need to be satisfied in the planning process. We formulate the task of cooperative surveillance as a single high-dimensional optimization problem to be able to integrate all these requirements. Due to numerous constraints that have to be satisfied, we propose to solve the problem using an evolutionary-based optimization technique. An important aspect of the proposed method is that the cooperating MAVs are localized relatively to each other, rather than using a global localization system. This increases robustness of the system and its deploy-ability in scenarios, in which compact shapes of the MAV group with short relative distances are required.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)469-492
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems: Theory and Applications
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


  • Cooperative surveillance
  • Micro-aerial vehicles
  • Motion planning
  • PSO
  • Swarm coverage
  • Swarms
  • Visual localization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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