Noob developer question : Can it hover over sheep?

Hello All,

I would like to add intelligence to the arducopter so it can use the camera input to make decisions about where to fly. For example, I might like it to go over to a sheep and hover over it as the sheep moves around. Is it possible to add this functionality to the arducopter? What would I need to do?

I currently don’t know much about the architecture of the arducopter/ardupilot system and how it all fits together.

I work as a developer, so if anyone could point me in the right direction I’d be very greatful.


It might take some work, but there are two approaches I would imagine you might want to explore:

  • Investigate using px4flow sensor for tracking. Use case: fly over the “white” sheep. Flip a switch, using custom code to “follow” the sheep with the optical flow sensor.
  • Integrate something like a BeagleBone Black or RaspberryPi as a more powerful option. Combine a camera and OpenCV or another object tracking software suite, and add some MavProxy software to the board.

Neither is simple, both would make fascinating projects. There is a user named “Jack Crossfire” on DIYDrones who has done some relate vision/tracking/guidance work, not exactly on topic, but you might approach him about your evil sheep haunting plans.