We were inspired to create a simple to use kit because of our personal love for drones. Our team consists of people who are new flyers, as well as seasoned veterans. But we all have the same love for our drones, but we all share three common concerns: we want to fly safely, legally, and always know the condition/environment where we are flying.
What it does
We understand that all drones are different, and the solutions required to protect each drone is different, so we wanted to make it simple to use. Our simplest solution is simply an old android phone stuffed into a watertight container, that sends location and sensor data to our responsive web page. We also built up a framework in python for the raspberry pi that allows for easy adding and configuration of different sensors, like ultrasonic sensors that detect proximity, as well as temperature and humidity information to determine air density. One of our key focuses is also legality, as we use radar.io in order to mark FAA illegal areas, like airports and security buildings.
How we built it
Our front-end is built in vue.js, and served on heroku, and all interaction is secured POST requests. We built an android app that updates location as well as supported sensor data (depends on android phone variant) that we can use to display the environment of the drone. Instead, we can also offer a rasbperry-pi library for custom solutions, with support for multiple arduino sensors with minimal setup.
Challenges we ran into
We were only able to support sensors we got our hands on and were able to test, so that ended up being:
- HC-SR04 ultrasonic distance sensor, with configurable trigger distance and up to 4. (we wanted to be able to support 8 but the polling rate on the pi zero we were using was limited)
- DHT-11 temp/humidity sensor
- 3axis accelerometer and gyro Ideally, we would be able to support more sensor, like the GPS module, but we were not able to get it in time. We also would have liked to be able to support the Ardupilot system, or proprietary SDKs like DJI and Parrot, but we did not have the cash for the hardware.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We have a good looking UI, with a very easy to configure custom sensor creation library. We wanted it to be extensible for advanced users, and that ended up working.
What we learned
We learned how to have fun, fly drones, and create a useful app. We also learned how to cram a square peg into a round hole.
What's next for Drone Security Kit
Development is currently focused on the custom sensor array, we want to add support for more sensors.