IR Helicopter Tracking

[Lyle] sent in some of his work with mini-copters. This rig was built to test control methods with his mini-copter UAV. I’m hoping that some attention here will get him to document a bit of his home testing for us. (He’s working on some bigger systems professionally, so I’m not sure if he will.) The test rig uses an IR camera to measure pitch, yaw and three dimensional positioning 120 times a second.

5 thoughts on “IR Helicopter Tracking

  1. Wow, this looks really nice! Too bad the details are so lacking :/
    I find it interesting that he used reflectors, rather than IR LEDs right on the copter. I noticed that the helicopter always faced the camera – I wonder if it can rotate away and still be located? I can’t tell if the reflectors are retroreflectors or not, so it’s hard to tell the tolerance.
    Adding support for rotation could become extremely complex, as it will probably result in having more than 3 reflectors. I’m not sure how this could really be done, but being able to rotate around the vertical axis seems to be an important feature.

  2. There are two systems shown. Both use the Blade CX helicopter. The first one is the vision-based one. I wanted to see what its dynamics were like and just have fun writing different styles of controllers. td-linux is right, that it can only face forward. It does fine at about +-45 degrees. It uses the off-the-shelf TrackIR system designed for video games (a lot of fun, by the way).

    The second system completely self-contained. It is on hold for now, but the hardware is done. It just needs to be programmed. I may wait a while, because I just got funding to do the same type of thing at work, just with nicer “toys.”

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.