Nonlinear Predictive Control for the OmniMorph Aerial Vehicle

MSc assignment


In this master assignment we propose the conception, development, implementation and testing on real hardware of a NMPC controller for the OmniMorph a prototype that the people working on the Aerial-CORE project has conceived and is currently finalizing the building of. The OmniMorph is an octorotor and has two servo motors that can tilt all the propellers at once to trade off between omnidirectionality and energy efficiency.
The research questions of the master thesis assignment are the following:
  • what is the best model to use in an optimization-based control for the OmniMorph? The model includes the dynamic equations of motion and the input constraints (Trade-off extensiveness/complexity)
  • what is the best objective function to use in order to encompass both tracking ability and energy high-fidelity efficiency coming from actual energy consumption model and measurements?
  • how to best tune the many parameters fo the controller?
  • will the NMPC able to control the real platform in real time, while being implemented onboard with the computational capabilities available onboard?
  • will the NMPC outperform existing Lyapunov-based reactive controller? 


The main prerequisites for the student are:

  • having passed the Control for UAV class
  • expertise in control engineering
  • background in mechanical engineering and/or robotics
  • independence in analytical and mathematical work
  • ability to code simulations in Matlab Simulink or Gazebo

This MSc thesis will take place within the scope of the H2020 Aerial-Core European project.

How to apply:

If you are interested in the project or looking for additional information, please contact

  • Davide Bicego []
  • with A. Franchi [] in CC

When applying, please include

  • an updated Curriculum Vitae,
  • a presentation letter highlighting your strengths and weaknesses,
  • and an updated exam grade list.

[1]: Bicego D, Mazzetto J, Farina M, Carli R, Franchi A. Nonlinear Model Predictive Control with Enhanced Actuator Model for Multi-Rotor Aerial Vehicles with Generic Designs. Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems. 2020;100:1213-1247

[2]: Jacquet M, Franchi A. Motor and Perception Constrained NMPC for Torque-controlled Generic Aerial Vehicles. IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters. 2021;6:518-525. 

[3]: Tognon M, Franchi A. Omnidirectional Aerial Vehicles with Unidirectional Thrusters: Theory, Optimal Design, and Control. IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters. 2018;3(3):2277-2282.

[4]: Hamandi M, Sablé Q, Tognon M, Franchi A. Understanding the Omnidirectional Capability of a Generic Multi-rotor Aerial Vehicle. In 2021 Aerial Robotic Systems Physically Interacting with the Environment (AIRPHARO). Biograd na Moru, Croatia; 2021