[FoRK] coffee drone

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Sat Jun 23 13:28:08 PDT 2012

On 6/23/12 5:14 AM, Damien Morton wrote:
> On Fri, Jun 22, 2012 at 3:22 PM, Stephen D. Williams <sdw at lig.net> wrote:
>> On 6/22/12 12:12 PM, Damien Morton wrote:
>>> On Fri, Jun 22, 2012 at 3:01 PM, Stephen D. Williams<sdw at lig.net>  wrote:
>>>   On 6/22/12 11:32 AM, Damien Morton wrote:
>>>>   I've been thinking about an autonomous personal cameraman.
>>>>> ...
>>>>   Machine vision isn't quite reliable enough for this, and the beacons
>>> that
>>> exist require expensive IR vision gear to see.
>> If you were to wear a 1 ft. square target on your back and a similar one
>> on your head, it would be trivial to track visually.  Should be doable
>> without that, but trivial with it.  Code's been out there for recognition /
>> tracking for at least 4 years.  You'd probably want a zoom camera paired
>> with wide angle to get good distance, but pretty trivial.  Tracking
>> stability would be based on visual flow, corner search, and movement
>> prediction / motion estimation.
> You're talking about the markers used for AR systems - these are going out
> of style now that OpenCV has markerless tracking

Yes, I know, that's exactly why I didn't suggest markers to begin with.  I've been working with this stuff off and on.  But then:

On 6/22/12 12:12 PM, Damien Morton wrote:
> Machine vision isn't quite reliable enough for this, and the beacons that
> exist require expensive IR vision gear to see.

Hence the pointer to a method that is very cheap and reliable, if not attractive or subtle.

> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnDN76GNlA8
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Uwd0165k0Q&feature=watch_response
> Here's an example of a marker based autonomous tracking drone
> http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/06/18/bot_jogging_buddy/
> You have to wear the right t-shirt though.
>> Get me a quad or hex copter that can carry a good smart phone, and I'll
>> implement something.  In a few months when I have time.  But they'll
>> probably be selling by then.  Already the open source autopilot is rivaling
>> defense projects in some sense.
>> Tracking in the open isn't too hard.  The difficult level is environment
>> understanding and planning so that it wouldn't run into trees, buildings,
>> tunnels, other quadracopters, etc.  I.e. a full self-driving skycopter /
>> skybot.
> So, there are solutions that build up point clouds from stereo vision
> systems,
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Y4RQVpp-BY&feature=related
> And there are solution that work using Structure from Motion:
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdmTGAo1Jvg
> There are also solutions that use LIDAR, expensive at $5K for a lidar unit
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoMrPKCpWXw
> My guess is that you'd want your drone to first survey the area it was
> going to be operating in, and use some offline process to build up a map of
> the area.
> Or, if you felt your drone had enough energy budget to carry something like
> a beaglebone around with it, you might be able to do the mapping on-board.
> What we really need is an inexpensive low-power per-pixel depth sensor.
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