FC-Hetero: Fast and Autonomous Aerial Reconstruction Using a LiDAR-Visual Heterogeneous Multi-UAV System

Submitted to International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems(IROS), 2024

Mingjie Zhang1,3,*, Chen Feng2,*, Zengzhi Li1,4, Guiyong Zheng1, Yiming Luo1,
Zhu Wang4, Jinni Zhou5, Shaojie Shen2, Boyu Zhou1,†

1 Sun Yat-Sen University.    2 The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.    3 Northwestern Polytechnical University.   
4 North China Electric Power University.    5 The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology(Guang Zhou).   
*Equal Contribution    Corresponding Authors

Two demonstrations of FC-Hetero. (The left scene is Pisa Cathedral, and the right is Sydney Opera House.)


Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have gained significant popularity in scene reconstruction. In this paper, we introduce FC-Hetero, a LiDAR-Visual heterogeneous multi-UAV system designed specifically for fast aerial reconstruction in complex scenes. Our system comprises an explorer equipped with a LiDAR sensor boasting a large field-of-view (FoV), alongside photographers equipped with cameras. To ensure rapid acquisition of the scene's surface geometry, we employ a surface frontier-based exploration strategy for the explorer. As the surface is progressively explored, we identify the uncovered areas and generate viewpoints incrementally. These viewpoints are then assigned to photographers using a Consistent Multiple Depot Multiple Traveling Salesman Problem (Consistent-MDMTSP) approach, which optimizes scanning efficiency and guarantees task consistency. Finally, photographers utilize the assigned viewpoints to determine optimal coverage paths for acquiring images. We present extensive benchmarks in the realistic simulator, which validates the performance of FC-Hetero compared with classical and state-of-the-art methods.

System Overview


Experimental Scenes

Experiment Details

Reconstruction Results


In the coming days, we'll be unveiling additional technical details and more demos of various scenarios. Stay tuned for updates on our website!