Thomas Stone's Blog (16)

GPS-denied Position-hold w/ 3DR Solo

15 Minutes of Vision-based position-hold with 3DR Solo: This is the first iteration of a vision-based position hold controller. This initial…


Added by Thomas Stone on May 3, 2016 at 10:54am — 14 Comments

Solo Smart Drone Lands Smartly: PART 2

Our precision landing Solo is flying great! :) This test rig has an IR-LOCK sensor (via I2C), an SF/10A…


Added by Thomas Stone on March 31, 2016 at 9:18am — 21 Comments

Precision Landing with Accuracy Management

I was inspired by the recent solar-powered launch system announcement to share some recent precision landing development work.…


Added by Thomas Stone on March 3, 2016 at 9:00am — 9 Comments

Recharge your drone at my place

Does anybody want to move in next door? We could send drones to each other ad infinitum. :) I cannot confirm if this installation increases/decreases the value of your home. 

This test represents an interesting combination of products and technology from 3DR,…


Added by Thomas Stone on February 4, 2016 at 8:02am — 9 Comments

Copter Localization w/ IR Landmark

The video shows localization data collected during a short flight over an IR marker, which is used to estimate the relative location of the copter with respect to the visual landmark. Note that this was a manually flown flight, but the ultimate goal is automation. Detecting visual landmarks/features is a fundamental task in many forms of…


Added by Thomas Stone on January 9, 2016 at 9:27am — 18 Comments

NVIDIA's TX1 SoC now comes on a credit-card sized module

NVIDIA's press release states that "Jetson TX1 is the first embedded computer designed to process deep neural networks -- computer software that can learn to recognize objects or interpret…


Added by Thomas Stone on November 11, 2015 at 12:45am — 280 Comments

Jetson TK1 Promo Offer

I am not an employee of NVIDIA or Make. :) But I am using this promo as an opportunity to see if anyone has made progress on getting the Jetson TK1 airborne.

The Jetson was released over a year ago. The community support has…


Added by Thomas Stone on November 10, 2015 at 10:30am — 36 Comments

Automated Precision Landing on a (stationary) Boat

How many copters did we sink? :) Check the video above. The development of Precision Landing hardware and software has progressed since our last blog post. The existing controls code has been added to master in APM:Copter (i.e., V3.4-dev). The two demo videos included in this post were produced with a modified version of APM:Copter V3.3 (similar to the master code).…


Added by Thomas Stone on October 29, 2015 at 9:37am — 2 Comments

SOLO Smart Drone lands smartly :)

Warning: I think this voids your warranty. :) We integrated an IR-LOCK sensor with a 3DR SOLO. This project was mostly for fun, so don't read too much into the flight performance shown in the video. We only had one test session, and we didn't tune any parameters. 

You might notice that the flight…


Added by Thomas Stone on September 8, 2015 at 12:10pm — 8 Comments

Safe Landings in Tight Spaces

Landing on your back porch? In close proximity to trees? And near your grandmother? :) 

We produced documentation regarding the 'Precision Landing' developments (link). The primary intent of this development is to enable more industrial use-cases for multi-copters, namely, fully automated systems with auto…


Added by Thomas Stone on June 8, 2015 at 7:27am — 8 Comments

RAPTOR: Measuring the Flows in Rivers with UAVs

Drones provide an “eye in the sky” which can be very useful for water scientists. Many water bodies are often surrounded by difficult terrain, making it difficult to observe changes over time. Extreme droughts like…


Added by Thomas Stone on May 4, 2015 at 6:40am — 3 Comments

Fully-automated Precision Landing Mission

I finally got around to editing the footage of this fully-automated Precision Landing mission. The purpose of this mission is to demonstrate how vision-assisted Precision Landing can be a solution to the 'last 100 ft' problem, where traditional GPS is not sufficiently accurate to navigate to a precise location (RTK GPS systems are another possible solution).…


Added by Thomas Stone on April 22, 2015 at 8:15am — 5 Comments

Automated Precision Landing on Car, and at Night

Maybe we can land on a moving car in our next demo. :)

IR-LOCK is a developing precision landing system for multi-rotors, which is expected to enable high levels of automation in UAS. Imagine…


Added by Thomas Stone on April 8, 2015 at 7:00am — 21 Comments

Precision Landing w/ Pixhawk Quads: Update and Preview

IR-LOCK has been testing the latest version of our sensor/beacon hardware for precision landing, and the results are great! With an IRIS+, we achieve reliable landings at around 5-30cm from the target beacon.

Our development focus is on the reliability and accuracy of the sensor/beacon hardware, and optimal integration with control systems. One feature of the new beacon design…


Added by Thomas Stone on March 30, 2015 at 11:13am — 29 Comments

IR-LOCK Sensor for Precision Landing, etc

We finally have a progress report on the integration of the IR-LOCK (Infrared Pixy) vision sensor with Pixhawk. A group of students at the Georgia Institute of Technology is using the sensor for their 'Package Delivery Drone', which requires precision landings. They plan to use GPS to travel to a waypoint, and then use the IR-LOCK sensor to…


Added by Thomas Stone on February 17, 2015 at 10:00pm — 52 Comments

Infrared-tracking Gimbal

This should produce MUCH better video quality, compared to our previous servo setup. 

Added by Thomas Stone on September 27, 2014 at 5:39pm — 7 Comments

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