Experimenting with impedance control on a drone

Since Fleye is safe to be touched/pushed, we are experimenting with innovative ways to interact with it. You already saw in past videos that it can be thrown in the air or stopped just by catching it and performing a 90° rotation.

In this video, we show the 'selfie mode' in which the user just needs to push the drone to trigger an automated move, with the drone stepping back to capture a selfie.

The drone detects the push, its strength and its direction thanks to the accelero. It goes away following the push direction, for a distance that depends on the strength of the push. It then turns around looking at its origin location and comes back to its position. The positioning is achieved using optical flow tracking.

This kind of control, where a machine 'mimics' physics, is called impedance control. It is often used in robotics for man-machine interactions, but I haven't seen this done with drones yet. Other ideas we have is to mimic lunar gravity when launching Fleye, or enable the operator to easily move Fleye around by simply grabbing it and placing it at another location.

Below is another demo, filmed with a 360 camera, so you can see there really was no pilot in the loop! As always, I'm around, happy to answer questions and looking forward to your feedback! 

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  • Really nifty, I want one,  but (no offense), here's a pro-tip: Lose the elevator music. You will never gain any viewers with music on technical-type YouTube vids, but you definitely will lose some. If you don't want the ambient audio (generally desirable, as sound is a part of what's going on and can contain interesting information) then silence is OK. Really.    

  • Not my work, but you might be interested in this work being done at Seoul National University: Aerial Tool Operation using Quadrotors as Rotating Thrust Vectors

  • MR60

    Je suis fan!

  • Developer

    looking good!

  • My doctor gave me a prescription to deal with mine.
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