Autonomous drone guides the way and manages the traffic
Drone assistance kiosk - dashboard
Trajectory of the flight
Locations provided by Here navigation
Delivery address database
- Reverse drone delivery (drone takes you to the location rather than delivering goods)
- Reverse principle of the current implementation of the 'follow me' drone which follow subject for the purpose of cinematography etc.
What it does
FOLLOW ME is a “reverse delivery” drone system that solves the problem to get most efficiently and without any “congestion” to your point of interest. That’s possible, because its backend server manages all the routes and times in a specific areal.
We wanted to provide a solution to problems at the 'last mile' by providing an infrastructure of fully automated, independent, self-maintaining (autonomous) drones. In this use case we created a system for delivery trucks that need an assistance in getting from the entrance gate to a specific location of the business park. Drones are aware of each truck and can manage the traffic of multiple vehicles they provide assist to. Drones are equipped with an infrared sensor in order to be aware of the proximity of a vehicle they assist. They also maintain an altitude of 3m above the ground thanks to a laser sensor.
How we built it
We used low cost drones equipped with infrared and laser sensor, HTML interface for dispatch kiosk, KML route planing (Keyhole Markup Language)
HARDWARE: •Set of multiple Follow Me Drones, equipped with a RGB-Display, 6-axis stabilization gyro, GPS, laser ground distance sensor, infrared sensor to stay by the customer (engine heat or facial heat) •SkySense.co fully automatic “home base” recharging drone pads
SOFTWARE: •Frontend: App & Web-Service (HTML) •Backend: Any rented server (e.g. Amazon Web Services) •qGroundControl open source drone control software add-in
Challenges we ran into
Sensor calibration, battery lifetime,
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We created self sufficient system of self-charging, self-managed drones that don't require any supervision. This system can be applied to various locations, scenarios and circumstances. For example city tours, airport terminal navigation system for passengers etc.. Use of low cost drones make the entry level very affordable. Server that controls the whole traffic is run by a discreet optimisation algorithm that ensures that no drone can be dangerously close to any other air/ground vehicle.
The simplest discreet optimisation is a linear Diophantine equation, which takes the form ax + by = c, where a, b and c are given integers. The solutions are described by the following theorem:
This Diophantine equation has a solution (where x and y are integers) if and only if c is a multiple of the greatest common divisor of a and b. Moreover, if (x, y) is a solution, then the other solutions have the form (x + kv, y − ku), where k is an arbitrary integer, and u and v are the quotients of a and b (respectively) by the greatest common divisor of a and b.
Proof: If d is this greatest common divisor, Bézout's identity asserts the existence of integers e and f such that ae + bf = d. If c is a multiple of d, then c = dh for some integer h, and (eh, fh) is a solution. On the other hand, for every pair of integers x and y, the greatest common divisor d of a and b divides ax + by. Thus, if the equation has a solution, then c must be a multiple of d. If a = ud and b = vd, then for every solution (x, y), we have
a(x + kv) + b(y − ku) = ax + by + k(av − bu) = ax + by + k(udv − vdu) = ax + by, showing that (x + kv, y − ku) is another solution. Finally, given two solutions such that ax1 + by1 = ax2 + by2 = c, one deduces that u(x2 − x1) + v(y2 − y1) = 0. As u and v are coprime, Euclid's lemma shows that there exists an integer k such that x2 − x1 = kv and y2 − y1 = −ku. Therefore, x2 = x1 + kv and y2 = y1 − ku, which completes the proof.
What we learned
Not every drone is capable of autopilot mode
What's next for Follow me
Testing with the autopilot capable drone.