I want to start an autonomous drone project (4G controlled), but I'm new in this domain, having never piloted a UAV. As far as I know, it is completely DIY-able and the whole package is not so expensive, but I want to know for sure a couple of things. I would be glad if you are able to answer me these questions.

  • Can the drone be controlled only by code? Like to have the Taranis (or whatever) turned off, write some code on the Linux Odrone XU4 and then the drone to start by itself? I want to achieve 100% autonomy, manipulation only through server, no transmitters involved.
  • Which are the weather conditions under which the drone can't operate?
  • What is the battery limit? How can I raise the power supply? (maybe solar?)
  • I've seen that drones like DJI S900 are best fit for this type of project. Do they also have obstacle avoidance like Phantom 4? If not, how will it be possible to embed a Pixhawk and a companion computer into the Phantom 4 or another ultra-situational aware drone? Or how it will be possible to embed obstacle avoidance into the S900?
  • Can I add extra features to the drone? Like a package propulsion system? I would like to deliver some objects in a box which could be brought down to the earth (let's say the drone stays at 20m altitude) through a rope or something alike. How "open-source" is the Odrone XU4 and how many features can be added to it?

Thank you very much:). It started to become a passion of mine and I don't want to make big mistakes.

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