CSSE Seminar Series

UAV Search Behaviour for Wireless Transmitter Detection


Dan Barry


University of Canterbury

Time & Place

Mon, 09 Nov 2020 15:00:00 NZDT in E16 - Engineering Core


With the popularization of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in both a commercial and hobbyist setting, UAVs have been used in increasingly varied applications due to a reduction in cost and increased capability. Our work focuses on the problem domain of search and rescue (SAR), where we consider a scenario that an unknown number of victims are to be discovered that carry small unknown transmitters, in an unknown environment that varies in complexity from an open field to a dense urban area. We look to reduce the time taken to find all victims within the search area. Through the use of a challenging discretized simulation environment, the UAV agents are required to implement a behaviour that allows them to both explore and search simultaneously. Our approach is motivated by the information theoretic concept of empowerment, where agents consider large numbers of future action sequences that maximize information that can be acquired for their internal model of the environment.