Unmanned Aerial Vehicles have generated considerable interest in different research fields. The motion control problem is among the most important issues to be solved since system dynamic stability depends on the robustness of the main controller against endogenous and exogenous disturbances. In spite of different controllers have been introduced in the literature for motion control of fixed and rotary wing vehicles, there are some challenges for improving controller features such as simplicity, robustness, efficiency, adaptability, and stability. This paper outlines a novel approach to deal with the induced effects of external disturbances affecting the flight of a quadrotor unmanned aerial vehicle. The aim of our study is to further extend the current knowledge of quadrotor motion control by using both adaptive and robust control strategies. A new adaptive neural trajectory tracking control strategy based on B-spline artificial neural networks and on-line disturbance estimation for a quadrotor is proposed. A linear extended state observer is used for estimating time-varying disturbances affecting the controlled nonlinear system dynamics. B-spline artificial neural networks are properly synthesized for on-line calculating control gains of an adaptive Proportional Integral Derivative (PID) scheme. Simulation results highlight the implementation of such a controller is able to reject disturbances meanwhile perform proper motion control by exploiting the robustness, disturbance rejection, adaptability, and self-learning capabilities.
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