Team Aerove

“A drone is often preferred for missions that are too ‘dull, dirty, or dangerous’ for manned aircraft.” Team AeRoVe of UMIC is on a never-ending pursuit of developing an ultimate system of autonomous fixed-wing as well as multirotor aircraft. Incorporating different subsystems namely ‘Mechatronics’, ‘Controls’, ‘Machine Learning’, ‘Perception’, ‘Path Planning’, and ‘Localisation’, the team emphatically covers every aspect to forge a de rigueur system of autonomous aerial vehicles.

The Purpose 

At Team AeRoVe, we always look for problems that challenge, excite, and motivate us to grow intellectually. Our purpose is to further the boundaries of autonomous aerial technology and realize the true potential of this field. We aim to contribute and start the culture of creating cutting edge technology through indigenous innovation.
The International Aerial Robotics Competition, the longest-running aerial robotics competition in the world, is the kind of problem that has pushed us to the best of our capabilities and made us think in ways like never before, providing us with an international platform to display our aptitudes.
In addition to the past technologies, Mission 9 required us to work on novel objectives like long-distance outdoor navigation, manipulation of large objects using actuators attached to our drones, interaction with moving frames of reference and 100% onboard computations. These tasks posed us with stimulating challenges and provided the team with the opportunity to improve its technical expertise.
Despite the ongoing pandemic, we braved our way through and not only succeeded to create a collaborative environment, but also thoroughly enjoyed working on a collective goal, the IARC Mission 9 challenge.

The Idea

For tackling the IARC 2020 Challenge, team Aerove decided to go with a Mothership-Daughtership configuration, which would increase effectiveness and save time. A key constraint governing our strategy of module replacement is time constraint. 
The major drawback of using a single drone is that it decreases the time available for communication module replacement. Therefore a mother-daughter drone configuration will buy us the time of the entire return flight. Also, the weight of the Mothership decreases during return flight which allows it to achieve a higher maximum speed.  The mothership carries the daughtership up to the drop point, and then circles back to the start point. Meanwhile, the daughtership undertakes the arduous task of replacing the communication module on on the swaying mast


The Mothership

The mothership is the primary drone that carries the secondary daughter drone. It is an autonomous 25 Kg hexacopter with an integral cage-like structure. The mothership will deploy the daughter drone at the mast and continue its way homeward to complete the mission in 9 minutes.


The Daughter Drone

The daughter drone, a 25 kg autonomous coaxial-octocopter capable of launching in mid-air, is meant to replace the communication module. It is equipped with a Pixhawk 4 for controlling the drone during flight. Intel Realsense D435 for obtaining live video feed of the surroundings, Intel NUC 5i5RYH onboard computation, Here3 GPS for localisation, and 7 DOF robotic arm for gripping the mast and replacing the module.

The People

Unmesh Mashruwala Innovation Cell, also widely known as UMIC, is a tech team formed to embrace and develop the idea of an autonomous future. The team consists of 60+ students from various fields and years of study at IIT Bombay. Under the sheds of the UMIC, the primary area of focus is developing autonomous vehicles.
Team AeRoVe of UMIC is on a never-ending pursuit of developing an ultimate system of autonomous fixed-wing as well as multi-rotor aircraft. Comprising 21 members, the team is divided into multiple subsystems.

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