Hello Companion Experimenters
Based on Randy's Red_Balloon_Finder project, this is the implementation of this fascinating project on a Raspberry Pi 2.
This is the perfect companion computer project and it covers the whole spectrum of the autonomous flight:
1- High level processing language: Python + OpenCV
2- Full integration of the Companion Computer (CC) with Flight Control (FC) and Ground Control Station (GCS) using MavProxy on a mix of serial and UDP communication
3- Integration of the Balloon_Finder with Software In The Loop (SITL)
4- Usage of Drone API allowing all sort of automated flight control
5- Perfect introduction to OpenCV using a Drone Specific Application that is relatively easy to program and configure with PYTHON
6- Creation of a complete standardized system image dedicated to this application so it can be used by all the interested experimenters as a training tool to get into vision controlled autonomous flight
Here is the proposed system:
It is based on the Companion Computer Architecture described here .
This is composed of 3 major building blocs:
1- FC: Flight Control , this is basically the Autopilot
2- CC : Companion Computer, which process the high level computation
3-GCS: Ground Control Station, this is Mission Planner, or QcGroundControl , mavlink --console or any GCS
The FC is interfacing with these signals:
A) Manual or Backup control links from the Radio Control. Transmission type: PWM,PPM,sBus, etc. Freq. 2,4 Ghz
B)Telemetry & Control to and from CC using UART . Signal type: Mavlink. Direct-Connect.
C) Interface with various sensors and actuators: PWM - UART - I2c - SPI - USB -GPIO
The CC is interfacing with these signals:
A) Main DOWNLINK to GCS. Transmission type WIFI, LTE, Other. Freq. 5 Ghz (WIFI). Bandwidth (6 - 600 Mbps)
B)Telemetry & Control to and from FC using UART.
C) Interface with Camera Using USB2 for Logitech or CSI2 for RasCamera
The GCS is interfacing with these signals:
A) Main DOWNLINK to from CC.
B) Optional connection to Internet using LTE or HotSpot
C) On the computer side, numerous inearfaces can be connected:
i. Immersive googles
iii. Gesture Interface (embedded tablet IMU)
iv You Name It