Drone Measures Image

Flying cars, drones, and other urban aerial mobility vehicles have potential to provide efficient transportation and delivery solutions but what happens if a drone breaks down over a city park or in the middle of a crowded street? Researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign developed a method to measure vehicles’ ability to recover and complete its mission safely.

Called quantitative resilience of a control system, the method establishes the capabilities of a system after it experiences an adverse event. One scenario examined the ability to recover from the loss of an actuator — when an engine, rudder, or other part gets damaged and you no longer have control over a portion of your system.

The other cases looked at situations in which all of the actuators still work but not at full power. The method establishes how to still control the system as safely as possible after such a thing happens.