03. MRes in UAV Co-operative Mapping. Getting Control of the Flight Management Computer

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Connecting the Pixhawk FMU to a Raspberry Pi 2

 

Project Recap:

My Masters project within the Bristol Robotics Laboratory is to design a system of UAVs that can be deployed in groups to co-operatively map the structure of their environment.  This is envisaged as an internal environment, however it is expected that the technologies developed may be additionally adapted for external mapping.  This series of posts documents key elements of the project.  So far we have set the objectives and built an airframe based on a standard 450 quadcopter configuration.

Post Objective:

An on-board Raspberry Pi will have overall control of the UAV.  This post shows how we can set up communications between the Raspberry Pi 2 and a Pixhawk flight management unit,  using the Mavlink messaging protocol, so that the Raspberry Pi can take control of navigation.

Continue reading “03. MRes in UAV Co-operative Mapping. Getting Control of the Flight Management Computer”

02. MRes in UAV Co-operative Mapping. Airframe Construction.

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Two on-board computers and plenty of space for sensors. Oh yes, it flies rather well too!

Project Recap:

My Masters project within the Bristol Robotics Laboratory is to design a system of UAVs that can be deployed in groups to co-operatively map the structure of their environment.  This is envisaged as an internal environment, however it is expected that the technologies developed may be additionally adapted for external mapping.  This series of posts documents key elements of the project.

Post Objective:

This post shows the construction of the new airframe being used for development.

Continue reading “02. MRes in UAV Co-operative Mapping. Airframe Construction.”

01. MRes in UAV Co-operative Mapping. Objectives.

Initial research platform. Pixhawk and Raspberry Pi.
Initial research platform. Pixhawk and Raspberry Pi.

Research A major part of my Masters by Research at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory is the research project itself.  I am developing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with the following capabilities:

  1. Able to fly autonomously in a confined space and to map that space.
  2. Able to join with others in a swarm to map the space about them.
  3. Able to identify and locate others in the swarm by:
    1. recognising broadcast ID signals;
    2. using other means to recognise and identify other vehicles (e.g. image recognition).
  4. The objective is that these should eventually be fixed wing, rather than multi-rotor.

Continue reading “01. MRes in UAV Co-operative Mapping. Objectives.”