I am new to to the programmable UAV world but I am very interested to learn what ever I need to to do a project. But first I need to know what to learn. I have been reading different forums and brands but I want to seek some advice on what I should be looking at:
I’m planning to develop a series of tools, to use quad-copters (less maintenance than copters) to photograph buildings automatically. My goal is to make this technology as simple as possible for the largest user base, even end consumer. The photos being processed can be combined with protogrammetry algorithms to obtain a 3D model, imagine a building scale 3D scanner. You can see some here.
(Not my vid)
Here are some research work done in MIT about mappping buildings (you can view the 3D models in browser: cat2.mit.edu/palladio/i_palladio … index.html
I want to start with some tested and proven systems, Arducopter seems to be a good candidate for the following task:
- I will need a front camera on a UAV, I have a GoPro Hero2, so I believe I can mount it on any copter that can fly.
- I want to fly this copter in mainly 2 mode. A pre-planned flight path (auto and step by step) and have manual control at anytime I pause the flight plan. I do not need full autonomous flight.
- I will want real time video back from front camera.
- I will want real time high-res images sent back to computer or tablet.
- I will want to be able to do more detailed pre-plan flight path, I’m very happy to see auto WP in Mission Planner but I need to plan a lot of still shots along a flight path.
I assume ardupilot is mainly relying on MavLink and it can handle the above mentioned items? Correct me if I’m wrong:
Sending: landing, lift off sequence, target GPS location, heading, manual pilot instruction, camera shutter.
Receiving: Real time video, high res image, navData. (How can GoPro stream with the MAVLink, or is it not necessary?)
I see that Mission Planner is open source, and written in Processing. I think I will be able to learn enough to write some additional feature to do more advanced WP. But I want to get an idea what hardware I need to buy and what technology I should be looking at.
Thanks in advance.