[FoRK] coffee drone

Damien Morton dmorton at bitfurnace.com
Sun Jun 24 10:25:07 PDT 2012

On Sun, Jun 24, 2012 at 12:14 PM, Aaron Burt <aaron at bavariati.org> wrote:

> On Sat, Jun 23, 2012 at 08:14:32AM -0400, Damien Morton wrote:
> > 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.
> I think one of those drones demo'd was carrying an x86 chip.

Actually a BeagleBone or Gumstix might be able to do it on-board. These
boards are in the <40g range, and require 2W of power - a battery weighing
<10g should be enough to power them for a single flight.

> > What we really need is an inexpensive low-power per-pixel depth sensor.
> You cited working implementations of two of the most effective techniques
> used
> in nature.  (I count optical flow as structure from motion.)

I was actually giving Stephen a chance to perk up about the company he is
working at - they are working on plenoptic imaging chips for mobile phones,
and these chips are capable of per-pixel depth measuring at low to moderate
z-resolution. Far less resolution than Lidar, but a lot cheaper, and
sufficient for obstacle avoidance.

> About the only way to improve on that is with active techniques, which
> pollute the EM environment and give away position.  But I guess you could
> build something like a CCD array with a PLL and phase detector at each
> pixel, coupled with a modulated LED emitter.  That, or a threshold
> detector, a latch and a cap at each pixel coupled with a picosecond laser
> emitter.  Sounds silly, though.
Its called Flash Lidar. Not silly at all, per pixel time-of-flight sensors.
Expensive though.


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