Wall locking drone


I am asking a question on behalf of my company : is there a implemented option in mission planner to have a front distance lock on a drone ? We would like to have an option like the “terrain following” but in front of the drone. By activating this option, the pilot would not have to control the multicopter on pitch axi. The drone will be locked at a distance from the wall, chosen by the pilot. He can send the command to the drone to climb or go to the left or whatever but the drone will stay at x meters from the wall.

Thank you in advance and have a nice day :grinning:

Up ! Anyone ?

Maybe someone knows a commercial solution ? We are still looking for a commercial solution with wall lock feature and high res camera (like Sony Alpha 7R). Any information would be appreciated :grin:

What you want/need is a feature that we call surface tracking. https://ardupilot.org/copter/docs/terrain-following-manual-modes.html

It also works on walls

What I understand from the question is: you have a forward-facing wall, and you want the Copter to be locked on to it? So if the wall moves forward, the Copter moves along with it? And vice-versa…

I am not sure if surface tracking does this (afaik it only controls altitude, please correct me if I am wrong)
Should be an easy job for lua scripting, if you have a way to figure out the distance from the wall (can be something like depth cameras or rangefinders depending on the type of wall) and then convert rc input to a, left-right/ up-down guided velocity… and leave forward, backaway velocity to the movement of the wall.

Basic avoidance could be an option . And if it is GPS denied environment, You need a position esimator like the Realsense T265 if there is good texture and lighting.

Sorry I didn’t provide enough information.

I would like to do an orthoimage of a cylindrical building (not a GPS denied environment). So, the drone has to go up and follow vertical lines at a precise and constant distance from the wall. The diameter of the cylindre is not constant. For now, we are using a Lidar lite to know precisely the distance. The pilot himself must control that distance by making the drone go forward or backward manually. But there is no control loop. So, we are looking for a commercial solution.

I was wondering a year ago if the terrain following feature of Arducopter could be used for wall tracking. So in your opinion, it is possible ??

Exactly, it is a forward facing wall. And yes I want the distance between the wall and the drone to be constant.

A year ago I found the terrain following feature on arducopter but I was thinking it only controls altitude.

Well, in that case I think you could use basic avoidance with a forward looking Lidar and set to stop at a fixed distance. Problem is yaw control on how to get the FoV Tangent to wall of building. That would require a Lua script for Yaw control based on equidistant reading from 2 forward looking Lidars.