Using Vicon Data to Guide a Quadcopter Using ArduPilot


My name is Sam, and I am currently an undergraduate intern for the University of Minnesota's Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics Department. My team and I have a quadcopter that we are trying to automate indoors, and I was hoping somebody from here would be able to help. We have a Vicon Motion Capture system in place to track positional and orientation data. In addition, we have the following parts..

  • Pixracer R14
  • PX4 Flow
  • Maxbotix 1242 Sonar
  • ACSP4 Power Module
  • RacerStar 20A Brushless Multishot ESCs
  • I2c Expansion

Our hope is to stream the Vicon data to the ArduPilot software as a way for the quadcopter to keep track of itself in the space that we have set up. We already plan on combining the parts that we have to automate the quadcopter, but we were hoping that this avenue of controlling the quadcopter would be a viable option as well.

My team and I have very little experience with this sort of project, so any help would be greatly appreciated. I have a feeling that ROS is going to be necessary to allow Vicon and ArduPilot to communicate with each other, but I may be wrong.

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Sam, if I may ask: what happened to this project of yours? It seems to have great potential going forward in various ways. Andrew Tridgell just posted a nice video entitled Small quad circling fast in Vicon. I've been curious about this topic for awhile and wanted to see how it is developing.

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