Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects


Computer Science

Document Type



In this project, we worked to create an indoor autonomous micro aerial vehicle (MAV) using a multi-layer architecture with modular hardware and software components. We required that all computing was done onboard the vehicle during time of flight so that no remote connection of any kind was necessary for successful control of the vehicle, even when flying autonomously. We utilized environmental sensors including ultrasonic sensors, light detection and ranging modules, and inertial measurement units to acquire necessary environment information for autonomous flight. We used a three-layered system that combined a modular control architecture with distributed on-board computing to allow for fully abstracted layers of control, allowing the individual development and testing of layers. We implemented two layers fully, resulting in increasing autonomous functionality for the MAV, and produced a research platform for development of the third layer. Experimental results demonstrated implementation capabilities including autonomous hovering, obstacle avoidance, and flight data recording.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Michael Galloway


Artificial Intelligence and Robotics | Computer Sciences