UAV Indoor Exploration for Fire-Target Detection and Extinguishing

Halil Utku Unlu, Dimitris Chaikalis, Athanasios Tsoukalas, Anthony Tzes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A UAV equipped with an RGB-D camera and a downward facing optical flow sensor is set to explore an unknown indoor 3D-volume. The UAV’s visual odometry is accomplished through the fusion of IMU, depth readings and the optical flow sensor. While the UAV is moving using a skeletal path to avoid collisions between the surrounding obstacles, it computes features from the environment. These features assist the UAV to localize itself in a self-identified map using the RTAB-Map SLAM. The UAV moves to the fire-alike target-set and for the unexplored area it uses a Chebyshev shortest path from the boundary free cells to the boundary of the target-set. Due to SLAM-induced errors, the UAV employs virtual potential fields and local depth measurements for obstacle avoidance. Upon detection of the target, comprised as a fiducial marker to emulate a fire-source, the UAV uses a ballistic trajectory to propel its payload (fire extinguishing material) towards the target. Simulation studies using Unity for photo-realistic indoor imaging, Gazebo for the UAV dynamics and ROS as intermediate between these components is used to validate the suggested scheme.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number54
JournalJournal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems: Theory and Applications
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2023


  • Chebyshev shortest path
  • Indoor exploration
  • Skeletal path
  • Unity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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