Hi DIY Drones, we are happy to write here about our drone that use smartphone as the brain, and phone's display for its face! We are trying to build an API set that runs on Android, which send commands in MAVLINK over USB serial to Pixhawk.
We were researchers of optimization problems at Stanford univ. and the Univ. of Tokyo, and we study route scheduling and optimizations for robotics, using simulated annealing of Ising model. As its application, we aim to implement our algorithm onto drones. APM is our base (Thank every contributors for the amazing work!), and we need a more powerful processor and also network connectivity, instead of using a Raspberry pi, we implemented an Android phone.
In our campus test flights, nobody cared about what we study, people just think it looks cool! Then we came to the idea, why not make it a robot. The phone display and speaker are there, which can also provide visual assistance in remote rescue assistance mission, or visual alert in aerial patrol.
After trials and error we made the prototype takes off successfully. Meanwhile we continue to implement our research algorithm, we are also looking into OpenCV. Everything of this project is Open Source, we are also exciting to see how people utilize the advanced functionalities on a phone to make drones intelligent. We will release the hardware CAD and software source on GitHub. We setup a start-up in Palo Alto, CA and to support our research we launched the project on Kickstarter. We will incorporate 3DR Pixhawk as the main flight controller, and Android as the co-processor that provide visual look and programming platform.
Details on our Kickstarter page:
and our website: