The International Micro-Air Vehicle Conference and Competition was held last week in Beijing, China, organized by the Beijing Institute of Technology and the National University of Singapore.
As usual, the level of the teams involved in the competition is higher year after year and we had a great show. The team from the MAVLAB of TUDelft was participating to both indoor and outdoor session. During the outdoor, they unfortunately couldn’t show their best due to many communication issues, preventing them to fully use their RTK Bebop2 (and also some regressions in Paparazzi code, hum hum… 🙁 ).
The next day, the indoor team did its best to perform well. And despite the difficult tasks to pick up and drop objects, they tried hard until the end. It was worth the effort as they reached the 3rd place of the competition, a few points ahead the Spanish team of Madrid (CVG-UPM)! We could almost call it a draw as both team really did their best with great spirit.
But, this was not their only great achievement. The paper Control of a hybrid helicopter with wings by Christophe De Wagter and Ewoud Smeur received the Best Paper Award of the conference for their work on the control issues raised by the novel design of the Delftacopter and the solution they found to solve them. Congratulation to them and all the team involved in the Delftacopter!
This year’s Outback Medical Express mission requires a UAV to pick up and bring back a blood sample of an ill-fated person called “Outback Joe” located at an inaccessible roughly known location 30 kilometer away remote location with unknown terrain.
Powered by PaparazziUAV, the DELFTACOPTER is also equipped with state of the art on-board stereoscopic wide field of view computer vision.
45 knots at 300 watt
Most efficient speed
35 knots at 230 watt
Power usage in hover
Main battery energy
10000mAh ~ 225 Wh
FTS battery energy
250mAh ~ 2Wh
RPM in forward flight
RPM in hovering flight
Datalink 1 protocol
Iridium satellite communication
Datalink 1 range
Datalink 2 protocol
900 MHZ long range communication
Datalink 2 range
Maximum wind speed
All the best to the MAVLab Team and their DELFTACOPTER during their Outback Challenge adventures.
Some time ago, I found my old Game Boy at my parents’ house. So the first thing that came to my mind was: can I fly a drone with this ? (and also where is my Mario Bros cartridge).
So I spend some time searching the web to see if I could find some idea to solve my problem. And if it seems that piloting unmanned aircraft with a Game Boy is not so common, you can find everything you need to program it!
But you can’t expect to go directly to an old custom serial com port to a wifi-based drone without some intermediate steps:
Finally, the Game Boy is just sending the bitmask corresponding to the buttons being pressed (with an Arduino and a FTDI to convert Game Link signals to USB), and a small program on the ground station converts this into actual commands for the drone (an ARDrone2 from Parrot with an extra GPS in my case).
The week before the conference, a few teams of researchers gathered to share experiences and fly their drones at the Atmospheric Research Center of Lannemezan near the Pyrenees. Among them was some of the oldest users of Paparazzi: Martin Muller (http://blog.pfump.org), the team of Joachim Reuder from the Geophysical Institute of Bergen, the UAV Lab of ENAC and the French Meteorological Research Center who was hosting the event.
Many flights have been done, including for the ENAC lab, the first flight using ChibiOS v3 implementation and some autonomous catapult takeoff.
For those of us that use Paparazzi to fly multiple MAVs, the current GCS does a great job of managing and presenting just the right amount of information for safe flight. That being said, there’s always room for new tools. It’s my pleasure to introduce the Flying Robot Commander, a PPRZLINK enabled web application for managing multiple MAVs.
The Flying Robot Commander(FRC) is a Flask/python based RESTful web application that integrates with Paparazzi UAV via PPRZLINK. That’s right, you can now write python code to access/extend Paparazzi UAV capabilities (NOTE: one of the main complaints about the current Paparazzi GCS is that it’s written in ocaml). In addition to python, PPRZLINK also provides C and ocaml libraries for those that need them.
For more details related to the Flying Robot Commander, PPRZLINK and Paparazzi UAV in general, see the following links:
I made a new video describing the details of the G0 Paparazzi UAV GPS receiver module. In the video I go through and describe the several design decisions we made to ensure high Signal to Noise Ratio, good multi path GPS signal rejection and overall reliability of the GPS for use in airborne robotics applications.
I hope this video is helpful. If you think so too please let me know in the YouTube comments. If you enjoyed the video make sure to like it on YouTube and subscribe to the channel.
G0 is now available for purchase in the 1BitSquared store together with the Elle0 autopilot. It is available in both of our stores; the US Store and the German Store. So if you live in the European union, you can now buy Elle for your next UAV project without having to worry about customs and shipping time. 🙂
Cheers, and successful flights,
Esden and the 1BitSquared team
I made a new video describing the details of the Elle0 Paparazzi UAV autopilot. Elle0 is now available for purchase in the 1BitSquared store together with the G0 companion GPS receiver. In the video I go through and describe every IO pin as well as some of the design differences to the Lisa/MX Autopilot. Additionally, I describe how you can add a battery voltage monitor to your Elle0 using a voltage divider circuit.
I hope this video is helpful. If you think so too please let me know in the YouTube comments. I am planning to make many more videos describing different aspects of Paparazzi UAV, not only hardware but also flight videos and Paparazzi software tutorials and tips. If you think it will be useful for you make sure to subscribe and tell me in the comments what you would like to see.
With a store in Europe they can provide faster delivery times of Paparazzi UAV hardware for all the European users and developers. Now you can purchase Lisa/M(X), Lisa/S, Elle0 autopilots and accessories for Paparazzi UAV within Europe without having to pick up your order at your customs office. We hope this will make the entry into Paparazzi and working with the system easier, knowing that you can get new parts and hardware faster from a local supplier.