Control quadrotors via a computer

I'm a master student in Systems Control Robotics. I'm currently starting my master thesis which involves a flying fleet of quadrotors. In fact, my goal is to program a fleet of quadrotors (up to 10 drones) so that they can take part in an art performance. Their behavior should be coordinated (spatially and temporally), autonomous (no human pilot behind them) and interactive (interact with the actors).

I plan to use a centralized architecture: I will get the drone positions from an external system (e.g. tracking system like Vicon, Optitrack or other methods), generate the trajectories with an external computer and send the control commands to the drones.  
My problem
I need to choose and buy the drones. But most of the drones I've seen so far need/require a remote control and their websites don't advertise whether it is possible or not to send them pre-computed control commands.
Do you know any drones that I could use for my project?

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Replies

  • I am surprised no one has replied to you yet...

    You don't have to use the standard transmitter/receiver. The flight controller on the drone has a few channels as input and control, the input is usually PWM. Normally those input channels are connected to a receiver, but it does not have to be a receiver... Any microcontroller can give out PWM for example, an ARDUINO... but an even better option, use Raspberry PI 3, which runs Linux operating system, and has WiFi integrated. This is perfect for you since you need to control multiple drones with one computer; just connect all of them on the same network!

    There are already systems / boards that do this. For example this is shield that mounts of top of a Raspberry PI: http://www.robotshop.com/ca/en/navio2-autopilot-kit-raspberry-pi-2-...
    Most of these systems are quite expensive, so I can't imagine a person doing this without outside funding.

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