The Cooperative Autonomous SYstems (CASY) lab was founded in 2009 for testing and validating theoretical results for guidance and control of autonomous vehicles operating individually or as a team. The scope of the research performed in CASY spans from the high-level problem of cooperative team mission planning (task assignment), to motion planning (guidance) with regard to optimizing trajectories for the dynamical systems, then to the problem of trajectory-following, and lastly to low-level control of a single vehicle. In our research and experiments we seek to devise new algorithms and strategies for performing these cooperative or individual tasks and to gain insight into the interactions between the different levels of planning and control. CASY was built and is operated by undergraduate and graduate students, providing them also with important hands-on experience.
The lab includes an indoor test-bed emulating real world complexities and constraints. It is composed of an indoor motion capture system providing in real-time six-degree-of-freedom estimates for tracked vehicles that include quadrotors, micro coaxial helicopters, and ground vehicles. The closed-loop guidance and autopilot of the vehicles is attained by employing these estimates, which are processed in a PC, as feedback. The computed control commands for all vehicles are synchronously transmitted through standard radio remote controls. This architecture allows for the addition of new vehicles in a short time at low cost, since no embedded hardware is installed on the vehicles. This enables us to avoid being overly conservative during flight testing.
Research performed in CASY is currently supported by the Israel Science Foundation, The US Air Force Office of Scientific Research, The Israeli MOD, and by the Technion’s Autonomous Systems Program.