Multivariable Control of a Rolling Spider Drone

Haifeng Lyu, University of Rhode Island


The research and application of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles(UAVs) has been a hot topic recently. Usually, UAVs is defined as an aircraft which is designed not to carry a human pilot or operated with remote electronic input by the flight controller. In this thesis, implementation of an easy pilot quadcopter named Rolling Spider Drone will be conducted. The thesis work presents the design of two kinds of controllers that can control the Drone keep balance and track different input trajectories. The nonlinear mathematical model for the Drone is derived by the Newton-Euler method. The rotational subsystem and translational system are derived to describe the attitude and position motion of Drone. Techniques from linear control theory are employed to linearize the highly coupling and nonlinear quadcotper plant around equilibrium points and apply the linear feedback controller to stabilize the system. The controller is a digital tracking system that deploys LQR for system stability design. Fixed gain and adaptive gain scheduled controllers are developed and compared with different LQR weights. Step references and reference trajectories involving significant variation for the yaw angle in the xy-plane and three-dimensional spaces are tracked in the simulation. The physical implementation and an output feedback controller are considered for the future work.