My PhD Topic was about Swarm exploration of pocket drones. Pocket Drones are small quadcopters that fit in the palm of the hand.

With these, the projects goal was to make multiple of these pocket drones navigate autonomously indoors. This is a use-case that is interesting for search and rescue scenarios.

I recently gave a Guest lecture about my PhD project:

Check out my dissertation for all the details!

The following sections I will highlight the important elements from the dissertation

Swarm Gradient Bug Algorithm



Minimal navigation solution for a swarm of tiny flying robots to explore an unknown environment KN McGuire, C De Wagter, K Tuyls, HJ Kappen, GCHE de Croon Science Robotics 4 (35)

A comparative study of bug algorithms for robot navigation KN McGuire, GCHE de Croon, K Tuyls Robotics and Autonomous Systems 121, 103261

Edge Flow and Stereo


Efficient optical flow and stereo vision for velocity estimation and obstacle avoidance on an autonomous pocket drone K McGuire, G De Croon, C De Wagter, K Tuyls, H Kappen IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters 2 (2), 1070-1076

Local histogram matching for efficient optical flow computation applied to velocity estimation on pocket drones K McGuire, G de Croon, C de Wagter, B Remes, K Tuyls, H Kappen 2016 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)

Wireless Relative Localization

This work has been highly contributed to my previous colleagues and Master students: Steven van der Helm, Mario Coppola and Kirk Scheper.


Towards autonomous navigation of multiple pocket-drones in real-world environments K McGuire, M Coppola, C De Wagter, G de Croon 2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems

On-board communication-based relative localization for collision avoidance in micro air vehicle teams M Coppola, KN McGuire, KYW Scheper, GCHE de Croon Autonomous robots 42 (8), 1787-1805

On-board range-based relative localization for micro air vehicles in indoor leader–follower flight S van der Helm, M Coppola, KN McGuire, GCHE de Croon Autonomous Robots 44 (3), 415-441