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 land precisely on an infrared beacon. Recently, they were able to get an IRIS+IR-LOCK to auto-hover over an IR beacon (see videos). 

Other applications for IR-LOCK/Pixhawk are in the works (or at least in mind):

  • Search&Rescue (auto-search for emergency IR beacons)
  • Moving target following
  • Aerial surveying (I will be able to post a relevant video soon)
  • ... your thoughts/ideas are welcome :)

We are in the process of making the IR-LOCK/Pixhawk interface more developer-friendly. The current developments (by the student group) are based on an IR-LOCK sensor 'driver' and codebase discussed on this FAQ page (link). A 'more official' implementation should be under development soon. The relevant discussion is here (link). 

Small IR 'Pods' can be detected by the IR-LOCK sensor at about ~30-60ft. The IR-LOCK sensor reports the (xy) position of IR targets to Pixhawk at 50Hz. 


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  • Hi @Thomas

    Can you share with me the source code for this ir-lock sensor for pixy camera and pixhawk... I have some course work need to be done using this both hardware.. I hope you can help me.

    Thank you in advance.
  • Just seen it - Very cool :)

  • @Crispin

    The latest video and info is over here:

  • Developer

    Crispin, I'm sure the final solution will be for high speed CPUs only (including the pixhawk).  Plane and rover continue to support APM1,2 for the moment at least.

  • top news chaps. As always, I am happy to run tests on one of my quads. It's a crash-test quad held together with nylon screws so not fussed about it going belly-up. All part of the fun.

    I assume this will only run on pixhawk? I have a number of spare 2.6s but no spare Pixhawk. Always an excuse to get another one though :)

  • @Crispin

    Testing is going well. We recently performed fully-automated missions with multiple precision landings (via Mission Planner). We also landed on cars, tables, etc. :)  ... The code needs more work/inspection before it can be officially implemented in the firmware, but the proof-of-concept is looking great. 

    Hopefully, you will see some of our new video footage very soon. Perhaps, it will deserve a new blog post. 



  • Developer

    I've done some work to put it into a form that would support both this IR-Lock landing and Daniel Nugent's companion computer method but my test flight wasn't successful.  I'm pretty sure the problem was related to a bug (probably my bug) in the code to communicate with the IR-Lock.  So work continues!

  • hey chaps - any update on this?

  •   :)

  • I'm with Dylan on this - we need to keep him fed and watered and protected from outsiders...

    Results are awesome!

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