An open simulation strategy for rapid control design in aerial and maritime drone teams : A comprehensive tutorial

Velasco, Omar; Valente, João; Alhama Blanco, Pablo J.; Abderrahim, Mohammed


The deployment of robot controllers into the real robotic platform is cumbersome and time consuming, especially when testing scenarios involve several robots or are sites not easily accessible. Besides this, most of the time, testing on the real platforms or real conditions provides little value in the early stages of controller design and prototype, phases where debugging and suitability of the controller are the main objectives. This paper proposes a simulation strategy for developing and testing controllers for Unmanned Aerial and Surface Vehicle coordination and interaction with the environment. The simulation strategy is based on V-REP and Matlab/Simulink which provide a large set of features, modularity and compatibility across platforms. Results show that this approach significantly reduces development and delivery times by providing an off-the-shelf simulation environment and a step-by-step implementation guidelines. The source code to deploy the simulations is available in an open-source repository.