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Journal of Control Science and Engineering
Volume 2016, Article ID 7324540, 10 pages
Research Article

Quadcopter Aggressive Maneuvers along Singular Configurations: An Energy-Quaternion Based Approach

1Mechanical Engineering Department, Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt
2Mechatronics Engineering Department, German University in Cairo, El Tagammoa El Khames, New Cairo, Cairo 11835, Egypt

Received 5 November 2015; Revised 13 December 2015; Accepted 22 December 2015

Academic Editor: Xiao He

Copyright © 2016 Ayman A. El-Badawy and Mohamed A. Bakr. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Automatic aggressive maneuvers with quadcopters are regarded as a highly challenging control problem. The aim is to tackle the singularities that exist in a vertical looping maneuver. Modeling singularities are resolved by writing the equations-of-motion of the quadcopter in quaternion form. Physical singularities due to underactuation are resolved by using an energy-based control. Energy-based control is utilized to overcome the uncontrollability of the quadcopter at physical singular configurations, for instance, when commanding the quadcopter to gain altitude while pitched at . Three looping strategies (circular, clothoidal, and newly developed constant thrust) are implemented on a nonlinear model of the quadcopter. The three looping strategies are discussed along with their advantages and limitations.