Hello

I've built a drone (quadcopter) with Pixhawk as its flight controller. I want to navigate this drone indoors where GPS signals are absent. I came across a few methods but I couldn't find out how to do it.
1. Camera, laser scanner, IMU (simultaneous localization and mapping)
http://www.slawomir.de/publications/grzonka09icra/grzonka09icra.pdf
The link above is a research paper where they've beautifully explained how they've done indoor navigation using camera, laser scanner and IMU. But they haven't explained how they did it. I also searched many pages for similar information. People have explained the concept but not how they did it.

I am just a beginner. Built my first drone. Took me 3 month to read about every part, assemble the drone, fix numerous issues and then finally fly it. So with limited information i cant do much. So i am trying to look for step by step instructions.

2. 4 stationary modules on the wall and one mobile module on the drone
https://www.pozyx.io/
Here, they have explained the technology and how the technology works. They've even explained the installation. But they haven't mentioned how to mount it on the drone, how to integrate this 'mobile module' and the drone.

3.https://www.quora.com/How-can-I-achieve-indoor-autonomous-flight-in...
https://www.quora.com/What-are-state-of-the-art-technologies-for-lo...
The above links describe different methods by which indoor navigation can be done.

It would be great if someone could share some links which have step by step instructions to make a drone that can navigate indoors (preferably the first two methods)

Thanks

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You can use a precise (+-2cm) Indoor "GPS": http://marvelmind.com/.

Here a couple of demos:

@MR I welcome you precise indoor navigation solution

10+ years ago, as Navteq's developer on Location Based Services I developed Indoor LBS - navigation based on signal strength

( signal received from Bluetooth, WiFi, Zigbee transmitters).

In large spaces it is virtually impossible to reach better indoor LBS resolution than 1m since you don't have Bluetooth, WiFi, Zigbee NFC transmitters featuring uniform sphere signal distribution due to antenna which is not spherical.

Every bacon comes with specific antenna characteristics

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=wifi+antenna+characteristics&am...

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=wifi+antenna+characteristics&am...

so you cannot claim uniform signal attenuation to have your triangulation algorithm to work basing on signal level strength

So let's us replace claimed 2cm indoor GPS accuracy by 2m accuracy

Thank you for replying :-)

Well, I 100% agree with you! Signal strength is not suitable for precision positioning at all. Thus, WiFi, BT, etc. - out of questions.

Triangulation is better, but we would need a laser for that.

But it has nothing to do with our technology. We are using time-of-flight in ultrasonic and trilateration - not triangulation. And synchronization over radio in ISM band:

System architecture - basics

Manual - a bit more details

So, yes, we have our +-2cm accuracy. Here are plenty of videos to proof :-)

I would be happy to comment more, if you are interested.

People, our using our solution for:

1) Autonomous robots

2) Autonomous copters

3) Virtual reality

4) Basic tracing of forklifts in warehouses, etc

Concerning integration with drones. Well, there are several options:

- First of all, please, read this: http://marvelmind.com/#Interfaces

- Majority of people is getting (X,Y,Z) data directly from the mobile beacon, usually, via USB/virtual UART

- You can also get data from the modem/router - also, virtual UART/real UART/SPI

- Or you can get data from the the Dashboard via UDP

Hello again,

We recently shot another video:

It shows possibilities to trace with high precision (+-2cm) over 90m in 2D, but with similar deployment with additional beacons it will be 3D. The system coverage can be expanded beyond 90 meters with cellular like approach: installing additional beacons every 30 meters

BR,

Maxim

 I am wondering how to integrate the mobile beacon with my drone's autopilot. The autopilot on my drone is Pixhawk. I read the user manual and I found out that the communication can be made via UART, USB or I2C. However, I am still unsure of how to make the integration. I would like to know how my drone will recognize the mobile beacon. Do I have to change any parameters? It would be great if you could share some information with me on how to perform the integration. A step by step explanation would be useful as I am low on experience in this field. Thanks



Marvelmind Robotics said:

Concerning integration with drones. Well, there are several options:

- First of all, please, read this: http://marvelmind.com/#Interfaces

- Majority of people is getting (X,Y,Z) data directly from the mobile beacon, usually, via USB/virtual UART

- You can also get data from the modem/router - also, virtual UART/real UART/SPI

- Or you can get data from the the Dashboard via UDP

Hello,

Yes, we support UART, virtual UART via USB, and SPI.

So far, guys using the system have been implementing the interfaces in their systems by themselves based on our interface descriptions:

From mobile beacon via virtual UART via USB

Protocol of data exchange with modem via USB interface

From mobile beacon via SPI

We are also providing examples in C and Python with the help. Just use them. Just modify the parameters and they are ready-to-use implementations of our protocols:

Here is the C code + guiding document

Python library + here is detailed description and example

All the above can be found on: http://www.marvelmind.com/#Interfaces

Additionally, we are preparing very detailed step-by-step document for Ardupilot and developing ROS module. But it may take us 2-3 weeks to finish taking into account other parallel tasks.

BR,

Maxim

Hello

Once the document for ardu pilot is ready can you  share it here? thanks!


Marvelmind Robotics said:

Hello,

Yes, we support UART, virtual UART via USB, and SPI.

So far, guys using the system have been implementing the interfaces in their systems by themselves based on our interface descriptions:

From mobile beacon via virtual UART via USB

Protocol of data exchange with modem via USB interface

From mobile beacon via SPI

We are also providing examples in C and Python with the help. Just use them. Just modify the parameters and they are ready-to-use implementations of our protocols:

Here is the C code + guiding document

Python library + here is detailed description and example

All the above can be found on: http://www.marvelmind.com/#Interfaces

Additionally, we are preparing very detailed step-by-step document for Ardupilot and developing ROS module. But it may take us 2-3 weeks to finish taking into account other parallel tasks.

BR,

Maxim

Surely, we will! :-)

Hi @Marvelmind

I was planning to buy this for my Rover for Indoor Navigation. The rover is based on ardupilot and the board is a pixhawk. I saw on your website that you have interfaced this with pixhawk. Are there any specific instructions on how to do so?

Thank you!

Hello Karthik,

The use case is rather simple. We connect out mobile beacon to Pixhawk board's GPS input and let Pixhawk to believe that it is connected to GPS. That is it.

My colleague will share a more detailed document today.

BR,

Maxim

Additionally, we recently published instructions for integration with ROS:

http://www.marvelmind.com/#Interfaces => ROS support on Raspberry 2 and Raspberry 3

Please, check the instructions on ROS integration

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