Development of Autonomous Palm-Sized Drone System for Chemical Leakage Source Search

Shunsuke Shigaki1, Muhamad Rausyan Fikri1, Daisuke Kurabayashi1

  • 1Tokyo Institute of Technology



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In this paper, we solve the chemical plume tracing problem (CPT) using a palm-sized drone. The merit of specifying a chemical leakage source using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is that it can search without worrying about many obstacles on the ground and can follow the flow of chemicals three-dimensionally. What is important in the CPT is to properly control air and draw chemical particles to a gas sensor. For that reason, there are many ground robots and UAVs that mount a fan that controls the air flow as well as driving the robot, but a micro drone cannot do this because the payload is very limited. Therefore, in this study, we use the air flow generated by the drone itself to draw chemical particles to the gas sensor. Moreover, because the number of sensors that can be installed in the palm-sized drone system is low, we used the search algorithm of an animal that solves CPT with a simple behavioral pattern. As a result of carrying out CPT experiments in a room where the air current is not controlled, it was possible to search for the source and reach it. Therefore, we report the construction of the world's smallest class CPT drone at this time.

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