In this article, a systematic procedure is given for determining a robust motion control law for autonomous quadcopters, starting from an input-output linearizable model. In particular, the suggested technique can be considered as a robust feedback linearization (FL), where the nonlinear state-feedback terms, which contain the aerodynamic forces and moments and other unknown disturbances, are estimated online by means of extended state observers. Therefore, the control system is made robust against unmodelled dynamics and endogenous as well as exogenous disturbances. The desired closed-loop dynamics is obtained by means of pole assignment. To have a feasible control action, that is, the forces produced by the motors belong to an admissible set of forces, suitable reference signals are generated by means of differentiators supplied by the desired trajectory. The proposed control algorithm is tested by means of simulation experiments on a Raspberry-PI board by means of the hardware-in-the-loop method, showing the effectiveness of the proposed approach. Moreover, it is compared with the standard FL control method, where the above nonlinear terms are computed using nominal parameters and the aerodynamical disturbances are neglected. The comparison shows that the control algorithm based on the online estimation of the above nonlinear state-feedback terms gives better static and dynamic behaviour over the standard FL control method.
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