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Graduate Projects


Project ID: 470
Author: Shawn Anthony Braune
Project Title: A Prototype: Autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Open Water Search and Rescue
Semester: 2 2015
Committe Chair: Dr. Ahmed Mahdy
Committee Member 1: Dr. David Thomas
Committee Member 2: Dr. Luis Rodolfo Garcia Carrillo
Project Description: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, UAVs, are becoming more and more available as technology becomes cheaper. Applications that can be created today were just a thought ten years ago and now they are becoming a reality. There are many applications that are being researched and it is through this research we are able to come up with new and improved applications that saves lives. In 2014, two planes had gone missing with no luck at finding the wreckage. Lives were lost and families are left wondering “what happened?”. In the world of truly autonomous vehicles, UAVs should react on their own through some sort of external stimuli. It is through these external stimuli that the UAVs react and adjust their goal accordingly. These stimuli can be taken from various sensors on the craft but also can be given commands by a human. This paper introduces a prototype system for controlling and getting important information from an autonomous vehicle. This prototype will include design decisions, a communication protocol, waypoint system and user interface while utilizing other software that helps with the control and flow of the system. The goal of this prototype is to show the ease and the necessity of being able to control truly autonomous vehicles through any medium with simple commands that can be used a multitude of different devices, such as a laptop, mobile or even HMDs. This will not only pave the way for different options of controlling these aircraft but also, and more importantly, be able to provide a mechanism that could be used in open water scenarios. The idea is to use the technology in order to help humanity and a system like this can bring hope that not all tasks are futile.
Project URL:   470.pdf