I'm about to build a proof-of-concept for a copter application. Generally speaking, the mission will be to use the copter to position a video camera in a fixed position, stream video, then return to the base station. Each mission will have nearly the exact same narrowly defined parameters. I'm wondering which platform, probably open, is the best to most quickly get to a proof of concept.
- Launching from a base station and flying straight ahead
- Recognizing an object about the size of a shipping container on the ground and flying over (typically only traveling in a two dimensional arc.
- Recognizing a landing spot toward the far end of the object it just flew over—and landing.
- This landing spot will always be approximately the same shape, orientation, size, and in the same position relative to the object, but never exactly identical.
- Ideally visual recognition of the landing spot. But in certain cases, the landing spot can be identified and/or confirmed by its heat signature.
- Live streaming video to the base-station for up to 30 minutes, usually about 15 minutes.
- During this time, using the landing gear (as opposed to the flying gear) as primary means of maintaining the camera's fixed position
- Knowing which general direction to point the camera toward. This would probably NOT be based on object recognition but based on its flight path. However, this step, pointing the camera, will often be operator-tweaked.
- Returning to the base-station
As I see it, the non-trivial requirements for the software are:
- Autonomous flight
- Simple visual object recognition and avoidance
- Visual identification of a landing spot
- Autonomously returning to the base station
For the hardware, the non-simple requirements would be:
- Ability to add a thermal sensor to use for flight guidance
- Ability to fly well under windy conditions
What platform would you recommend for this application?
Thanks in advance!
P.S. I have experience with software but never with object recognition.