What it does
Autonomous drones have existed for years, controlled by autopilot systems like Ardupilot and Naza. I wanted to build a drone that was both autonomous and controllable over 4G. Adding the 4G link enables a remote operator to manage drones all over the world from a single location, constantly monitoring flights in real time and updating flight paths as necessary.
How I built it
"The Dementor" is operated using a Pixhawk flight controller, enabling it to execute coordinate flight paths. The Pixhawk is interfaced in real time using Maxproxy with a Raspberry Pi, which can send downlink data to the user and receive updates using a Qualcomm 4G dongle. Since the dongle IP frequently changes due to physical movement and reconnecting to towers, the dongle pings a raspbery pi server, which acts as the central point to connect the user to the drone.
What's next for DroneTech
I am currently developing a series of end effectors (visible camera, robotic gripper, thermal camera, solenoid, and spotlight) that can be hot-swapped onto the UAS using a standardized grid of nickel-plated neodymium magnets that also serve as electric leads.
Photos and videos will be added soon.