dhiraj's Posts (2)

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Traditionally, drones have used low bandwidth radio communication to connect to ground devices. Last year, when we started building the FlytPOD Flight Computer (next generation autopilot), we wanted to equip it with a better communication system. Drones today need to share rich media and scale-up to support swarm applications. Keeping this in mind FlytPOD is designed to provide high bandwidth link and scalable networking layer.

Going forward we decided to integrate WiFi module with FlytPOD. But we wanted something more than a USB WiFi dongle; we had tested nearly all popular high power USB dongles including ALFA, TP-link, Netis, Netsys but were either not satisfied with performance or not happy with other constraints(weight, size, power, etc.).

Unsatisfied with dongles, we decided to break the usual practise and put a router onboard, instead. Only routers can deliver the power and flexibility for the complex networking scenarios involving multiple drones. We decided to use a router module with powerful Mediatek MT7620N SoC. The default firmware was quite dumb. So, to do justice to this great hardware we ported OpenWRT firmware to this board, including key packages, like 'relayd' for client mode connection, etc. This SoC is already being used on ASUS RT-N14U, WRTnode, many other well-known routers.

So now every FlytPOD powered drone has an on-board router!!

It runs OpenWRT barrier breaker and supports AP/Client/Router modes. The SoC can output upto 20 dBm with two 5 dBm antennas, included for better reception. FlytPOD, along with a high power router on ground (maybe, with an antenna tracker), could be the best solution for long range applications. Anyway, 4G dongles can be used for longer/unlimited range on a FlytPOD.

By the way, the on-board router on FlytPOD has its own USB port, that supports direct IP camera streaming and media sharing (without loading FlytPOD's processor). It can be put to several creative uses in the future!


MediaTek MT7620N SoC on FlytPOD

Yet something was amiss. To geeks, this combo of router and companion-computer would sound like a powerful dev kit. But for rest of the users, even switching between AP and Client modes would be a nightmare. So, we rolled out the FlytConsole widget for easy WiFi configuration via the GUI. Earlier, to put FlytPOD (OpenWRT router) in client mode (connect to your office/home wifi network) users would have followed this long guide.Now, the FlytConsole GUI makes it as easy as connecting your phone to a WiFi network.

3689693009?profile=originalEasy WiFi setup with FlytConsole

With all this in place, we are proud to introduce the world's first flight computer system with powerful on-board wifi router to our users. We look forward to your feedback to help us further improve the design.

Sign up for FlytPOD Beta here: FlytPOD

Checkout the Flyt documentation here: FlytDocs

Join Flyt Users group on DIYD

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Hello Guys

Ever wished to write an intelligent script using Computer vision to play with your drone? I did. In fact yesterday I started working on some basic thing and came up with a small drone game.

Drone will climb up 1m when it detects a blue object and will climb down 1m when it detects a red object. Thats it!

It took me about an hour to put together everything and get this demo onboard a 460 size hexcopter running FlytOS on FlytPOD (includes autopilot and odroid XU4) and Sony PS3 Eye camera.

After few initial searches I came across a nice python script on instructables to detect a round object with specific color. I modified it to track two objects of different color simultaneously and selected Blue and Red dishes as two colored objects for the game. With the logic handling unwanted situations like no object or both objects at a time, I was good to go. And went on to integrate it with drone, using FlytOS python APIs.

Then I took off the drone and switched to offboard mode(FlytOS taking over from me here). And started playing :)

To replicate this demo all your need is a drone with pixhawk, odroid XU4, web cam.

For information on putting together all the hardware, watch this, read this.

To get the flytOS go here.

Download above code from here.

If you face any issues post on forums.

CC users group on DIYD is a great resource for companion computer users.

With FlytOS it becomes very easy to command any drone from simple python scripts. It also exposes high level APIs in CPP, ROS, RESTful, Websocket,etc. A day or two more and you can have some mobile app for your application using flytOS.

Join the Flyt users group on DIYD to get posted of new demos.


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