Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) have drastically modified users, practitioners and researchers perspectives for many fields of application, such as disaster management, structural inspection, goods delivery and transportation, localization and mapping, pollution and radiation monitoring, search and rescue, farming, etc. The advancements introduced by UAVs are innumerable and have led the way for the full integration of UAVs, as intelligent objects, into the Internet of Things (IoT).
However, the integration of UAVs into the IoT poses several scientific and technical challenges. From a scientific standpoint, the use of controllable devices redefines classic robotic issues, such as trajectory planning, formation control, exploration and simultaneous localization and mapping, by introducing a new scientific dimension given by the communication and networking capabilities of UAVs. From the technical standpoint, the current networking paradigms for the IoT need to be revised in order to explicitly take into account the advanced sensing, actuation, storage, computing, reasoning capabilities of UAVs. The integration of UAVs into the IoT could be eased by leveraging the possibilities offered by network function virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN), which are two of the main innovations of 5G systems.
The goal of this Special Issue is to report research ideas and solutions for exploiting synergies between UAVs and the IoT towards the development of innovative applications.