payloadFly: Cooperative Payload Control with Disturbance Rejection

Delivery has become one emerging sector of unmanned aerial systems applications. The low cost and simple operation give quad-rotors benefits for delivery in short distance transportation. Among various options, the cable suspended payload configuration has advantages in terms of easy mechanism, light weight, flexible loading and drop-off without vehicle landing. We further propose to fly a group of quad-rotors in coordination to carry payload of different shapes and weights, to significantly increase the payload delivery flexibility. Specifically, we would like to address the following technical challenges:

  • multi-drone with tethered payload configuration stabilization
  • path following or trajectory tracking control
  • automatic guidance and soft landing of payload
  • robust control against environmental disturbances
  • vision based state estimation and visual servoing

This project involves fundamental research on systems modelling and control, development on system design and flight experimental demonstration. The project is sponsored by Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) through its Collaborative Research and Development Program (CRDPJ 508381-16), in collaboration with Drone Delivery Canada.


  • Silas Graham (MASc)
  • Ho Helson Go (MASc)
  • Longhao Qian (PhD)

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Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council
Drone Delivery Canada Corp.

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