The uses of computer vision technologies in controlling UAV flight have been mentioned in some blogs already and will be discussed in more detail in a future blog. It can provide autonomous means of flight which are difficult to replicate manually allowing the use of a UAV in agriculture, inspections, surveys, delivery or emergency response.
The means to implement computer vision technologies on UAVs has generally meant proprietary technology or a complicated open source route with the setup of hardware and the installation of a number of pieces of software before experimentation can even begin.
But the work of Indian Navstick Labs has developed a number of products to solve these problems.
FlyTOS operating system is an application development framework built upon Linux and ROS (Robot Operating System), meaning an integration with ROS modules/libraries and sensors. It also supports the APM and PX4 (Pixhawk) open source autopilot systems.
The systems allows the development of obstacle avoidance, autonomous landing with AR tags and object recognition, tracking and following. It’s object tracking can use simple OpenCV based algorithms to detect objects using color and shape and use a Kalman Filter for tracking. It can also incorporate OpenTLD for selecting objects in a display and then following them (this was originally published in MATLAB by Zdenek Kalal).
FlytConsole and FlytVision are inbuilt on-board web apps that aid on in the creation of applications.
It comes with a web-based control station called FlyConsole and a 3D simulator called FlytSim.
The software can be downloaded for free and installed on an ODROID XU4 companion computer.
As well as coming with a suspended IMU for vibration damping and an external magnetometer it also supports RTK (Real Time Kinematics) GPS.
It’s USB3.0, USB2.0, HDMI and user configurable I/Os connectors support a number of systems out-of-the-box including a Gimbal, PX4Flow (Optical Flow sensor), LiDAR (distance sensor) and USB Cameras. While the hardware interfaces on the FlytPOD support a number of specialized sensors including multi-spectral cameras, stereo cameras and LiDAR.
It is designed to be able to process photographs in the companion computer and stream them to ground.
The system comes in two models:
- FlytPOD Kit – uSD storage. It costs $499 ($399 in Indiegogo).
- FlytPOD PRO Kit – This kit has the same features as the basic one but also offers sensor redundancy, with triple 3-axis Accelerometers and 3-axis Gyroscopes as well as double external Magnetometers, Barometers and External GPS. It also comes with the faster eMMC storage. It cost $799 ($699 on Indiegogo).
The Indiegogo funding ends on the 3rd October.