Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can be used to cover large areas searching for targets. However, sensors on UAVs are typically limited in their accuracy of localization of targets on the ground. On the other hand, unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) can be deployed to accurately locate ground targets, but they have the disadvantage of not being able to move rapidly or see through such obstacles as buildings or fences. In this article, we describe how we can exploit this synergy by creating a seamless network of UAVs and UGVs. The keys to this are our framework and algorithms for search and localization, which are easily scalable to large numbers of UAVs and UGVs and are transparent to the specificity of individual platforms. We describe our experimental testbed, the framework and algorithms, and some results.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/george_pappas/232/