Position Controller for a Flapping-Wing Drone Using UWB

Guillermo Gonzalez*, Guido C.H.E. De Croon, Diana Olejnik, Matej Karásek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


This paper proposes an integral approach for accurate ultra-wideband indoor position control of flapping-wing micro-air vehicles. Three aspects are considered to achieve a reliable and accurate position controller. The first aspect is a velocity/attitude flapping-wing model for drag compensation. The model is compared with real flight data and shown to be applicable for more than one type of flapping-wing drone. The second improvement regards a voltage-dependent thrust control. Lastly, a characterisation of ground effects in flapping-wing flight is obtained from hovering experiments. The proposed controller improves position control by a factor ∼1.5, reaching a mean absolute error of 10cm for the position in x and y, and 4.9cm for the position in z.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-394
Number of pages12
JournalUnmanned Systems
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • drag compensation
  • Flapping-wing drone
  • position controller
  • thrust control
  • ultra-wideband


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