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  • 3D Robotics

    @Droneboy: Documentation on swarming with the 3DR Solo is here


    This forum is new to me and I thought it would be a great place to start for information and contacts. We are putting together a project to swarm multiple 3DR solo or Parrot UAVs to perform intricate 3D formations in the sky. 

    We're looking for individuals or a company that is familiar with swarming to build the Ai for us and to manage it. If this is an interest to you or anyone you know, please email me jey (at) srtecgroup (dot) com 

    I apologize in advance for using this blog for our agenda. But since the topic is about swarming, why not :)


  • Hi all,

    how to control the large scale uav team to fly following the certain trajectory generation?

    particularly, the enviroment have moving obstacle with the respective characteristic:

    1 .the number of obstacle is changed dynamically, each have the specific probability of appearance and

    dismissing in the enviroment.

    2 .each obstacle is moving with various velocity and specific dynamic motion equation.

    so how to generate the trajectory automatically and consider the obstacle avoidance and inner team

    collision avoidance at the same time in the same enviroment.

    i find some paper from vijar kumar and raffaello andrea, they use MILP to generate trajectory and to

    free the obastacle and collision.but they said that MILP or MIQP computation time comsumption

    depend on the number of the vehicle and the obstacle, even they adopt some improment meature to

    accelerate the computation to guarantee obtaining suboptimal trajectory in second.

    also there have some methods such as geomety primitive combination and differential flatness, but

    it seem to be limitation for dynamic obstale constraints.i dont know whether other approach is suitable

    for this kind of proble that i never find out to learn.

    so i ask your help to spark my solution for this problem or you might post the link to find this paper.

  • @earthpatrol - I'm reading through some of your old posts which are pretty cool.  Do your 'swarming' drones talk to each other in realtime and make decisions, or are they following preset paths?  I really like the look of your little hexes, are they available commercially?

  • @fnoop no worries. We all have tough days. I know I can do better as well. Thanks for the thoughts. 

    @david_conger +1 Yes, Paparazzi UAV is the real deal.

  • @Fnoop: "Personally I 'cobble together' uavs because my interest is in the technology and I can't afford pre-built systems at the rate I crash them" 

    This made me smile, that is exactly how I started, what makes Paparazzi so compelling to me. I can not see any project around today other than Paparazzi that is so encouraging to exactly that. Building it from the PCBs up yourself. You can pick any place you like from having your own PCBs made to buying already programmed assemblies. But the community will encourage you no matter where you start. Even if you want to design your own PCB and run Paparazzi on it they will help. There is no limit, no "warranty" to void and such. I have been doing this since 2007 and started at nothing but the Wiki. Meaning I taught myself how PCBs were made and found places to Fabricate them for me. I offered the extras for sale to help pay for my new hobby. Then people asked for fully assembled Paparazzi things so I learned how to do that. Same thing, offered the extras for sale. I'm still doing it. Still able to go to the Wiki, Git, download the Eagle or Gerber files, send them off for Fabrication, get the PCBs, hand assemble some for myself, program them, put them into new airframes, fly fully autonomous. If I have questions I ask the developers and the whole community jumps in and helps. This site is a very very much larger version but not nearly as encouraging anymore for the ground up, design files to hand assemble it yourself like Paparazzi is still. I would very much like to see DIY become this so there are more choices for people like us who want the freedom to pay what we can afford. There is a lot of learning and fun in doing the assembly yourself. I now use reflow ovens and at one point my own pick and place machine. It was a challenge to learn (self taught) to program that. 

    To me Paparazzi is like a free University for electronics and robotics where everything from the lowest level to the highest level is given freely and encouraged. No books required, it is all given. Bring your own book and have questions, no problem, the University is not selling anything, the professors are all volunteers with good paying jobs already. There is no pressure or even benefit to selling anything or paying the professors. They just love to teach and the University is happy to just have the world recognize it as an alternative. That is very much Paparazzi. You must go with a mind ready to learn and you must like the challenge or you will find they have no diploma for sale. 

    The other projects to me are like community college and expensive Universities where for money they will teach you but you must by the right book and follow their curriculum or you do not get the diploma. Three is a lot to be gained by paying the professors and selling books and supplies. Deals are struck between the book publishers and the professors to get them to recommend their books. I am not saying this is bad. I am saying this is more like the difference between the Paparazzi project and the other projects where those that write the code and sell services interact with those running the project. It's a professional arrangement. There are investors who want their return on investment. Corporations, boards of directors. 

    So, the world is full of choices. If you like building, crashing, repeating you will find Paparazzi things are not so different in that way other than the designs are out there with instructions. If you want to have some of your own PCBs made email the developer list you will get responses. If you want assembled that's available. If you want all the way up to RTF go fly that's out there but in Europe at the moment. I could do that in the USA but haven't yet. Maybe in the future. I am having too much fun just making things for myself and sharing how to do it and helping others build theirs. 

  • @earthpatrol - Apologies for somewhat overly grumpy and negative posts to you.  Thanks for posting interesting information.  Paparazzi looks pretty cool, if not quite as mature/mainstream as APM - I'm shortly looking for another FC and I'll look at the paparazzi boards.  

    'swarming' is a very loose term and it's not something that apm/ardupilot has focused on so it's cool to see it happening here.  It's important for commercial users to have hardware with commercial-level support, regulatory approval, engineering etc which is what I was referring to.  The solo (and phantom, at a lower level) is a very impressive piece of kit that can be bought off the shelf.  Personally I 'cobble together' uavs because my interest is in the technology and I can't afford pre-built systems at the rate I crash them, but most people just want hardware ready to go that 'just works'.

  • Um this thread is self explanatory: From Chris about Solo.

    I suppose earthpatrols point is that you don't need Solo's, or their high cost, not even Ardupilot to do swarming drones, and he's simply asking why he should do it with Solos in the first place.

  • @n1ente hope that helps. It's a fairly mature and capable system, so there's a lot to absorb. Always happy to try and answer any questions you might have. There's also an excellent gitter channel for asking questions and interacting with developer's here: Paparazzi Discussion Channel

    paparazzi/discuss - Gitter
  • Hi @n1ente,

    Some of the posts I've made here are related to my multi-mav work with Paparazzi. Here's the link to my DIYD posts:

    Link to Posts

    Here's a screenshot of 6 UAV's being monitored in the GCS:


    Also in those posts are links to videos. Here a couple of those links of autonomous, synchronized multi-mav flights:

    You can learn more on the Paparazzi UAV wiki as well as download it from the Paparazzi Github. Here's a list of features listed on the GCS page of the wiki:


    The Paparazzi GroundControlStation is a feature-rich application with fully customizable views, each containing a collection of the most useful interface components for a particular purpose.

    • Simultaneous flying multi UAS support
    • Multi-system support (multiple procotols, multiple autopilots/projects) by writing a IVY Plugin
    • 2D Map capable of displaying Google Satellite, OpenStreetMaps Images and Microsoft Satellite Maps
    • Mission planning
    • Realtime movable waypoints
    • Realtime flightplan adjustments if needed
    • System status overview
    • Realtime Airframe in Air tuning and calibration
    • Supports rotary and fixed-wing e.g. Airplanes, helicopters, coaxial and quadrotors
    • Definable Hotkeys for quick simple in the field control
    • Voice status output
    • Full freely configurable GUI layout
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