Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Kinect on a quadrotor (UAV)

This video show the usage of a Kinect as a radar sensor on a autonomous quadrotor UAV.

More info here :
Hybrid Systems Laboratory http://hybrid.eecs.berkeley.edu/
This work is part of the STARMAC Project in the Hybrid Systems Lab at UC Berkeley (EECS department). http://hybrid.eecs.berkeley.edu/

Researcher: Patrick Bouffard
PI: Prof. Claire Tomlin

Our lab's Ascending Technologies [1] Pelican quadrotor, flying autonomously and avoiding obstacles.

The attached Microsoft Kinect [2] delivers a point cloud to the onboard computer via the ROS [3] kinect driver, which uses the OpenKinect/Freenect [4] project's driver for hardware access. A sample consensus algorithm [5] fits a planar model to the points on the floor, and this planar model is fed into the controller as the sensed altitude. All processing is done on the on-board 1.6 GHz Intel Atom based computer, running Linux (Ubuntu 10.04).

A VICON [6] motion capture system is used to provide the other necessary degrees of freedom (lateral and yaw) and acts as a safety backup to the Kinect altitude--in case of a dropout in the altitude reading from the Kinect data, the VICON based reading is used instead. In this video however, the safety backup was not needed.

[1] http://www.asctec.de
[2] http://www.microsoft.com
[3] http://www.ros.org/wiki/kinect
[4] http://openkinect.org
[5] http://www.ros.org/wiki/pcl
[6] http://www.vicon.com

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