Autonomous vision-guided object collection from water surfaces with a customized multirotor

Shatadal Mishra, Danish Faraaz Syed, Michael Ploughe, Wenlong Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This article presents a multirotor system with an integrated net mechanism for autonomous object detection and collection from water surfaces utilizing only onboard sensors. The task of object collection on water surfaces is challenging due to the following reasons: 1) propeller outwash alters the object's dynamics; 2) unpredictable current flows, 3) extreme reflection and glare off water surfaces affect the object detection; and 4) noisy height measurements over water surface. A two-phase object-detection algorithm is developed with a linearized polarization filter and specularity removal algorithm to eliminate reflections and an edge-based contour detector for detection of objects on water surface. Subsequently, a boundary layer sliding-mode control is implemented to ensure the system is robust to modeling uncertainties. A dynamic sliding surface is designed based on constrained linear model predictive control. The efficacy of the proposed collection system is validated by multiple outdoor tests. Multiple objects of different shapes and sizes are collected with an overall success rate of 91.6%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9432733
Pages (from-to)1914-1922
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Aerial grasping
  • sliding control
  • unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)
  • vision-based control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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