3D Printed Drone - Indoor Temperature Monitoring


I've recently started a project which involves designing, manufacturing and programming a 3D Printed Drone (Quadcopter) for use in indoor temperature monitoring. 

I plan to begin this project by producing a simple system where a temperature sensor is onboard the quadcopter, and the reading is transmitted to a tablet/android phone. Ideally I would also like it to be controlled using a tablet/android phone. 

Since I'm extremely new to the process of designing a Quadcopter I was hoping for some advice on some topics which I'm unsure about...

Flight Controllers for temperature measuring

There is a large variety of Controllers available, but I'm unsure as to which boards have the capacity to add a temperature sensor onto it, and which have the capacity to relay this reading to a tablet?  

i.e How do I know if a flight controller is suitable for me? What features should I look for? 

Does anyone have any recommendations on which flight controllers might be suitable for this application?

Indoor Positioning 

From preliminary research around the topic of indoor positioning, it seems as if accurate indoor positioning is difficult. I'm hoping to eventually be able to produce a drone which can automatically produce 2D or even 3D heat maps of an indoor space, but accurate positioning is required... are there are affordable methods for accurately gauging position in an indoor GPS denied region? 

Tablet/Android Control

Can any flight controller be programmed to be controlled using a tablet/android? If not, what is required on a flight controller which allows for this setup to be viable? 

Hope my questions aren't too blindly obvious!

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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  • Drones and 3D printing are an ideal match! The advantages of drones are more and more attracting for sectors, as it permits to go to areas that are inaccessible for people. The dilemma is that a drone can be quite expensive if you'd like a high-quality device. What's more, it may happen that the quadcopter which you chose is not totally adapted to your project and does not have the features you need. Or on the contrary, the drone may have many features and you won't utilize all of them.

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  • Here is an option for Precise (±2cm) Indoor Positioning:
    - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Rn0On9aEKg - tracking a drone indoor
    - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8eHhUhc0Z4 - fully autonomous flight
    - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-ETDc5K_fw - tracking a micro-drone indoor
  • These are all tricky questions:

    There are a number of Pixhawk and derivative flight controllers available. There is plenty of support on this forum so it might be the easiest place to start.

    What sort of temperature sensor are you thinking of using - local air temperature or FLIR type imaging?

    I can recommend one of our laser scanners (SF40) for creating SLAM data (Simultaneous Localization And Mapping) but you will need to analyze the data to establish the position of the drone. If you are interested there will a be a lot more information available during the next month and we will be interfacing this scanner with the Pixhawk flight controller.

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