A novel use of ArduPilot, with Copter running on a BeagleBone Blue used to demonstrate some very precise flying.
Thanks to @camti for sending this through.
Text, imagery and video courtesy UoM press release.
An octocopter capable of attaching asphalt shingles to roofs with a nail gun has been demonstrated at the University of Michigan.
This aerial vehicle is autonomous, meaning that it positions the nail gun on a nailing point, places the nail and moves to the next point without needing a human at the controls.
“For me, the biggest excitement of this work is in recognizing that autonomous, useful, physical interaction and construction tasks are possible with drones,” said Ella Atkins, a professor of aerospace engineering and robotics.
She added that tasks best suited to robotization are said to be “dull, dirty and dangerous,” presumably moving the human workforce on to cleaner, safer and more interesting jobs.
Already, drones spare humans some high-stakes fall risks by inspecting bridges, wind turbines and cell towers. The natural next step, according to Atkins, is to upgrade from surveillance alone to performing physical tasks.
The problem of nailing down a shingle breaks down into several smaller problems—among them telling the octocopter where the nails should go and triggering the nail gun. Atkins’ team used a system of markers and stationary cameras to enable the octocopter to precisely locate itself in space. They used this system to tell the octocopter where the nails should go.
To fire the nail gun, they first measured the force needed to compress the point of the nail gun, which must be done before a nail will deploy. Then, they wrote software that would enable the octocopter to apply that force…[keep reading]
UoM press release here: https://news.umich.edu/roofing-drone-nails-down-shingles/
Related paper published here: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1909.08162.pdf