3D Robotics

I love this young and smart team, who came out of University of Kansas and are doing very cool work with FPGAs.  From sUAS News:

Aerotenna, the leader in radar sensing and SoC flight control technologies for UAVs, has won first prize at the Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) Preliminary Drone Sense & Avoid technology competition held on November 9 in Syracuse, NY. The competition was launched by a partnership between UTM Convention and HiddenGenius.com to demonstrate drone sense and avoid technologies in an open competition to build public trust.

UTM Convention 2016 is held November 8-10 at the Oncenter in Syracuse, NY. The annual event brings together aerial technology leaders from around the globe, including experts from the FAA and NASA, to explore the latest technical capabilities and discuss collaboration to rework the global airspace in the next era of aviation. The Drone Sense & Avoid technology competition was held during a Google-sponsored reception in front of leading companies and organizations including Google, Intel, Amazon and NASA, as well as drone industry regulators, investors, and most importantly the public.

Sense and avoid is a critical technology that enables safer and wider usage of drones in many applications such as monitoring the safety of bridges, rail lines and other critical infrastructure, delivering packages, and humanitarian missions. The competition obstacle course was designed as a mini replica of environments and scenarios drones would face in the real world, including a miniature bridge, glass obstacle, replica power line, and moving obstacle. More than one thousand in attendance watched as Aerotenna demonstrated its collision avoidance solution based on the μSharp sense-and-avoid radar and the OcPoC SoC FPGA flight controller. Aerotenna successfully completed two collision-free rounds in the fastest time to take home the $12000 first prize.

The development of sense and avoid technology is also critical for the flight of drones beyond visual line-of-sight and into national airspace. Aerotenna recently announced the release of a new miniaturized collision avoidance radar and SoC flight controller for all drone platforms. Radar’s robustness and reliability in all-weather, all-terrain and all lighting conditions make it an indispensible sensor for autonomous smart drones. Until recently, radar has not been considered a practical sensing solution for small UAVs due to size, weight and cost. With a suite of robust yet affordable and easily integrated sensing and processing solutions for all drone platforms, Aerotenna is positioned to be a key solutions provider in the commercial and consumer drone industries.

“Advancements in drone sensing and processing technologies are making autonomous drones a reality,  and open competitions such as the UTM Drone Sense & Avoid competition are great venues to show the public just how smart drones have become,” said Dr. Zongbo Wang, CEO of Aerotenna. “The capability of Aerotenna’s collision avoidance radar shows the power of radar as a robust, affordable and easily integrated solution for all drone platforms in the new era of aviation.”

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  • @naish, exactly! I am googled and found JRC NJR4233D sensor that FSK Doppler mode is prepared for measurement speed and distance. Maximum distance is 30meter in 16.7cm accuracy.

    Link is here, sorry for Japanese page.


  • @ Jiro   The HW-M09 can only detect doppler effect, so you will only be able to measure the speed of an object ( or movement ) but not the distance from it. 

  • I found something like this.

    Haiwang Brand Microwave Radar Sensor Module (HW-M09)


    This product is automatic induction control of doppler radar products.High sensitivity, long
    distance detect, high reliability, big detect angle. Also the power supply voltage is range.
    HW - M09 USES planar antenna is the transmission and reception, as the active sensor. The
    sensor transmit high frequency electromagnetic wave (10.525 GHz) and receive echo.

  • Any idea how large the objects being sensed have to be?

  • So the other team was using a DJI Matrice?  What sensor system were they using?  Optical?  I assume they just had something running with DJI's API?

    And so Ardupilot with these radars beat them?  Would love more info on the whole thing.

  • the leader... leading whom, to where it goes...The leader has already tape out VFPs and bought by intel...

  • Great work, very nice machine created. Such creations are very use full in many way.


  • The uSharp senses distance in 8 directions, up to 40m, at 100Hz.  It could be used for indoor mapping.

  • Both teams did pretty well, they both had guys following the path with transmitters so I think it was simple input commands and the quadcopter processed the best path as it went to avoid the obstacles. This is the best picture I could get of both together, the Aerotenna submission had a 3D printed part on top that looked like an upside down Reisigner circle. Not sure what it is for but if they are on the forum I'd be curious to know. 


  • ArduPilot for the win (again)!

    They have developed their own code in top of ArduPilot, which is available at https://github.com/Aerotenna/APM_OcPoC_Cyclone/tree/ardupilot-uShar...

    As can be seen by the commits it was easy for them to do it, showing that ArduPilot isn't hard to add hardware or features. I hope they work to integrate support for, at least, their hardware into master.

    Ardupilot for Aerotenna Altera OcPoC flight platform - Aerotenna/APM_OcPoC_Cyclone
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