U-traffic — a drone simulator with a complex path planning system — has been released

Try it now utraffic.sim-labs.com

5 min readApr 26, 2019

U-traffic Demo is a cloud web app that can be accessed anywhere from a browser. U-traffic was designed as a comprehensive framework to demonstrate, test and configure unmanned traffic management systems and their separate components

What for?

First, our simulation environment can be used to detect potential problems and risks with your algorithm and alleviate them. Imagine you have created an algorithm to land malfunctioning drones. You need to break down several drones and let them fly somewhere close to you. Even though you are an eager algorithm developer and you find a couple of broken drones a decent price for the experiments, there still is some chance that you change your mind if they fall next to you. And eventually, the landing may turn out that unsuccessful so a drone cannot be fixed and reused. As a solution, it is possible to start testing an algorithm on simulated traffic.

Secondly, we can replace any component of our system listed in the sections below with yours. For example, you have developed a brand-new very promising path planning algorithm. We can integrate it with our simulation engine for drone dynamics and visualisation. You can use this demo to present it to investors or customers. We can also deal with the cases where you provide us with an idea rather than a completed algorithm. Then we offer you custom development and provide you with full support with RnD projects.

So why to use U-traffic?

  • Present your service to investors and customers and even let them try to use it from a browser on their own laptops
  • Use some components of our system which are missing in yours to create a full-grown product
  • Test and enhance your algorithms in our simulation environment
  • Provide us with your idea for an RnD project and we will take care of all development issues

Simulation Engine

U-traffic is based on a simulation engine for drones. Since we want to achieve realistic movements we would not be satisfied by simply animating a drone icon to move from one point on the map to another. For example, any drone needs to gain certain altitude before flying anywhere. Moreover, upon a request, we can turn on 3D visualization of drones so you can observe their propellers spinning the way it happens in real life. U-traffic also accurately depicts not-that-desired aspects of reality as drones’ charge is not unlimited and at some point, they have to return to the base to recharge. U-traffic’s simulation engine is flexible so that it can be extended with some additional functionality if requested.

Path Planning

The second important component of U-traffic is a path planning system. Depending on the type of mission performed by a drone, routes of different shape are created. For example, delivery requires flying from a base to a parcel’s recipient and back to the base. This results in a polyline route for a drone. An important note here is that while the system is planning routes, the preference is giving to flying along the roads rather than over buildings because it is a safer option in real life.

A completely different case is when several drones need to spray a fertilizer over a field. Then a route is created the way each point of the area is covered with back and forth motions and the number of turms — the most time- and charge-consuming thing — is minimized. There is an interesting algorithm to perform this task and to know more on how drones’ paths are planned for this kind of missions read our blog post on coverage path planning for drones.

Auto-generated drone routes


U-traffic is a web application that is very easy to use for demonstration purpose. It possible to modify what is displayed. There may be another layer on the map including but not limited to the height map, various contours and weather characteristics like wind or temperature. Any required data can be visualized. Additionally, we can implement 3D visualization of a drone performing a mission or stream video from a camera attached to a drone on demand.

To check out U-traffic go to http://utraffic.sim-labs.com/. Below you can find the description of main interface elements and several test scenarios. You can think of your own scenario you want to present to the customers. It will not be a problem even if some additional functionality is required.

How it works
U-traffic control center. Try it now utraffic.sim-labs.com

Case 1. Wind Gust Avoidance

When you want to use drones to perform some tasks you should be aware of weather conditions as small aerial vehicles are susceptible to wind. In real life, it may be a bit problematic to test how your path planning algorithm reacts on the weather change because you have to find or wait for the very specific weather conditions. In a simulation, the weather can be defined in a moment.

There is a scenario in U-traffic to demonstrate route reassignment in case of wind gusts. To check it out, select WIND from the list of scenarios and start the simulation. A wind gust will be detected soon and the path planning algorithm will change a drone’s path. It will continue performing the delivery and returning to the base upon the completion. The route, however, will be different.

Case 2. Area Coverage

Sometimes it is required to fly over an area to cover each point with fertilizer, photos or gather air samples in different spots. The scenario called INSPECTION shows how several drones split an area between them and cover it.

In the above-mentioned case, all points of the covered area are equally important but what if an accident occurred we have a central point and some area around it? Start TOXIC PARIS scenario to observe a spiral route around a place of an accident. Moreover, if there is some equipment attached to a drone it is possible to display data gathered by this equipment in U-traffic.

Case 3. Rescue

Imagine a drone broke and it is required to transfer it to the base. Start a scenario RESCUE and wait for a drone start malfunction. Then you can send a different drone to the base. If you have any problems check the video above.




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