Author ORCID Identifier

Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)

Document Type

Master's Thesis




Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Jesse B. Hoagg


This thesis presents a real-time autonomous guidance and control method for a quadrotor in a GPS-denied environment. The quadrotor autonomously seeks a destination while it avoids obstacles whose shape and position are initially unknown. We implement the obstacle avoidance and destination seeking methods using off-the-shelf sensors, including a vision-sensing camera. The vision-sensing camera detects the positions of points on the surface of obstacles. We use this obstacle position data and a potential-field method to generate velocity commands. We present a backstepping controller that uses the velocity commands to generate the quadrotor's control inputs. In indoor experiments, we demonstrate that the guidance and control methods provide the quadrotor with sufficient autonomy to fly point to point, while avoiding obstacles.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI) (50409 kB)
(b) video example 1 of quadrotor obstacle avoidance and destination seeking experiment

final_exp.MOV (41225 kB)
(c) video example 2 of quadrotor obstacle avoidance and destination seeking experiment

flight.cpp (44 kB)
(d) flight.cpp: flight guidance, navigation, and control script

flight.h (13 kB)
(e) flight.hpp: header file for flight.cpp