Call for robotic drone platforms for indoor commercial use

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scanman
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Call for robotic drone platforms for indoor commercial use

Post by scanman »

Do you have a solid indoor drone platform?

We have developed an on-board data collection system designed for indoor drones in commercial spaces. Backed by 2 years of development of solid data processing software, we are looking for a partner who can provide a stable indoor drone with onboard robotic capabilities in GPS deficient commercial spaces.


The requirements are below:
1) to be able to fly in a uniform, predefined space in a grid pattern, maintaining a fixed distance from the surface it is flying against.
2) front sensor: must be able to maintain a front separation from objects of between 200 and 30cm with an accuracy of 5cm
3) downward sensor: must be able to maintain any height between 1 and 10m with an accuracy of 2cm
4) horizontal movement: must be able to move, on demand, in 50cm increments with an accuracy of 5cm
5) void space detection: upward angled distance sensor to prevent flying into overhangs.
6) onboard: all onboard navigation. no externally mounted navigation system
7) platform: this is a "BYOD" development (Bring Your Own Drone) . Platform is not specified, we have done a lot of development using the arduino mega but dont require any particular controller.
8) communications: Your position controller system will communicate with our onboard data processing board. There is a simple protocol between the two boards, e.g. from our board to yours: "go to height 5m", "stay 40cm away" "go 1m left", from your board to ours: "i have reached the desired position", "i have detected a void", .
9) aircraft: preferred: quad copter. you do not need to provide the physical quad copter , the system should be able to be installed on a range of different quad copters e.g. microdrone or full size 450.

Assistance with sensors can be provided, We have developed and tested arduino code for a range of possible distance sensors including:
sharp Infrared (2m range, 1cm accuracy at 50ms),
maxbotics sonar (7m range and 1cm accuracy at 100ms)
laser range finder (50m range and 2cm accuracy at 50ms)
we are not dictating the use of these particular sensors, however they are robust, lightweight and affordable for mass production.
If needed, we can provide a separate board to provide these readings to your navigation controller using a serial protocol.

Production ready: We anticipate requiring 1000 of these devices in year 1 and 5000 in year 2.

Please p.m. if you are interested in providing a platform for commercial use backed up by a global patent application to protect the I.P.
We also require local support agents and operators in major centers with the potential for on-going revenue, in not only providing the platform, but to become a service provider in commercial data collection.

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treym
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Re: Call for robotic drone platforms for indoor commercial u

Post by treym »

this message shall be moved into : "General discussions" .

ps : for commercial and or "global patent application to protect the I.P" please use the forum section not dedicated to coding

edit : message edited for clarity
Last edited by treym on Tue Nov 18, 2014 8:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

scanman
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Re: Call for robotic drone platforms for indoor commercial u

Post by scanman »

The patent covers the attached equipment not the platform which is un-patentable since it is in the public domain. The "open-sourceness" of the hardware and software running on the platform is the choice of the company/individual providing us with the platform.

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treym
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Re: Call for robotic drone platforms for indoor commercial u

Post by treym »

i have no issue with that :)

the point is "calling for a drone platforms for indoor commercial" clearly stand in "General discussions".

As you just said/wrote down : this is not related to he hardware and software , so ...

timecop
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Re: Call for robotic drone platforms for indoor commercial u

Post by timecop »

As with many other multi-rotor systems, the Inspire 1 relies on a GPS-based stabilization system that - thanks to spatial awareness - is able to hold a position even when experiencing wind interference, can compensate for overzealous pilot inputs to help avoid stalling, automatically brings the aircraft home in the event of signal loss or at the press of a button, and makes possible a number of semi-automated flight modes that can be enabled through the app. There is also an "indoor" mode which relies on Optical Flow technology - essentially a special camera - provide stability indoors or in other contexts where GPS is unavailable


Found your solution, bro

scanman
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Re: Call for robotic drone platforms for indoor commercial u

Post by scanman »

thanks timecop, we considered the DJI inspire however it is not suitable for the following reasons:
1) no known protocol to integrate to it
2) closed-source: no chance of further development and collaboration with DJI
3) no front facing sensors so it cannot detect obstacles in front of it.

scanman
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Re: Call for robotic drone platforms for indoor commercial u

Post by scanman »

We believe that with the shutting down of our skies due to legislation, and the huge amount of aerial drones available for outdoor use (surveying and photography) will drive the future of the commercial drone indoors within the next 2 years. We are trying to pull together software developers from around the world, and focus their energies on getting an early lead on indoor navigation platforms, not only because we need the technology for our application, but also to assist the open source communities to convert some of their long hours and skills into income by providing indoor drone services in their local areas. The BYOD philosophy we have adopted in our system hopefully encourages open-source development and feeds back into it commercially.

There are people, along with ourselves, who have put a lot of effort into on-board navigation, but it seems as if there is no clear leader in this field as yet. Our post in this forum is intended as an offer to anyone who has been doing experimentation in this field to possibly commercialise their work.

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Hamburger
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Re: Call for robotic drone platforms for indoor commercial u

Post by Hamburger »

just curious,
I see you making some serious requirements on the MR part (robotic drone platform); if we had MR controller code doing all that it would be of substantial value in itself.
What exactly does your on-board data collection system offer?

PS: unfortunately, we do not have a moderator to move topics around
PPS: your intention of "for commercial use backed up by a global patent application to protect the I.P." prohibits anything MWii related. We are a GPL project.

scanman
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Re: Call for robotic drone platforms for indoor commercial u

Post by scanman »

Not sure on how to move the post. sorry.

We are not necessarily proposing changes to the multiwii code. The call was for an additional system.

We have already developed (from scratch) an arduino on-board system (at mega 2560, CRIUS AIPro and others) that takes the readings from all of the sensors , decides how much throttle, pitch, roll , and yaw to give using PID loops , and sends the signal to the FC using SumPPM or PWM on the FCU's standard pins .

We have tested it on a few RTF systems including quantum nova and other clones as well as multi-wii based purpose built copters, with mixed results.

Our problem is in the control of the copter. Our control loops are giving us problems, its not as easy to control a copter as we thought (makes us respect the work done in this forum). We are having problems with oscillations and some wild behaviour.

We have proved Its possible to do, it just takes time and skills to perfect it.

We were hoping that someone else has made advances in this area so that we could use their system and re-focus on our core skills of data collection and processing. We have found a few users on other forums who have done some incomplete work in this area, and are interested in providing their platforms for our use , however none are complete.

To semi-answer your question: Our on-board data collection system is a separate system, it collects data observed by the drone's imaging system, passes it to the server, the server returns further instructions based on the data gathered. If you are serious about getting involved please PM me and we can provide more details. There are three systems: on-board data collection , navigation system , and FCU.

Regarding GPL: If we purchase a drone R.T.F. from Hobbyking and it has a multiwii operating system on it are we prevented from using it for commercial use e.g. aerial photography?
In the same way, our solution does not modify or use any part of the multiwii code in any way, it simply connects to devices as if they are black-boxes by sending Pitch Roll Yaw and Throttle RC signals to the devices, does this mean they cannot be used for commercial use? .

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Hamburger
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Re: Call for robotic drone platforms for indoor commercial u

Post by Hamburger »

nothing to be done about moving the post - forget it.

Re GPL: the GPL is not about monetarizing but about IP. You have complete choice of either buying or building MWii-capable hardware and either use preloaded MWii code or compile and upload yourselves. If/when you start either using portions of the MWii code (like using functions sources) from within your project code or vice versa then GPL would apply. From your description, running one piece of hardware with MWii-code and signaling to/from your hardware via existing MWii means (RX, PPM, serial MWii protocol), that sounds good enough of a separation to me. If in doubt, just ask.

Re your on-board data collection system - you have not mentioned what type of data it could collect (other than process onboard imaging) and communicate with server.

Re your requirements for a working FC: I understand the implications, what can be done with that plethora of features. I personally am not too interested in most of these features anymore and based on the little I know I suspect you will have a hard time finding any FC (open or closed source) capable of at least a substantial subset of these features. If it was so easily available (or easy to implement) the corresponding robot applications would already be out in the market. I could imagine some serious business opportunities.

To me it looks like what you consider the side project of an FC you are asking for might be the tougher half of the coin.
Good luck

scanman
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Re: Call for robotic drone platforms for indoor commercial u

Post by scanman »

Thanks for the advice, it is taken in the spirit it is intended, and thanks for the time taken by members to read and consider this post. We did get a pm from one or two members who have some experience in this area.

To answer your question about data collection: it need not be limited to our specific use in a very focussed specialised industry, it can be varied and used in many areas, for example: a colour sensor for inspecting walls to check for paint discolouration and dirt, an ultrasonic thickness sensor for detecting the presence of rust inside an oil tanker ship, an OCR sensor for reading library book titles, a spray can for doing graffiti. These sensors are available in light form factors suitable for aerial use, all they need is a stable indoor navigation system.

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