ReconstructMe and Multicopters (Part 1)

by Gerold Huber

In the course of my master thesis in the fields of Robotics and Automation at the Johannes Kepler University in Linz (Austria), I am working at the PROFACTOR (the creators of ReconstructMe) since last summer. We wanted to set up a quadcopter for full autonomous tasks without external markers/sensors/cameras. The main challenge in this set-up is position estimation and tracking position accurately. After some struggling with a 2D flow sensor to determine the position, we decided to use a depth sensor in combination with the ReconstructMe SDK for position tracking.

Therefore, I implemented a mobile version of ReconstructMe. As you can see in the Picture about the system architecture below, a high level board streams the sensor information via WiFi to a groundstation running ReconstructMe. There ReconstructMe is used to build a global model of the sensor data. As a benefit, ReconstructMe provides complete tracking information of the camera to the high level board. The Flight Management Unit (Microcontroller) than uses this Position estimation from ReconstructMe in a raw manner to stabilize the multicopter.

MulticopterSystemOveriew

The entire process chain (sensor – data streaming – reconstruction – tracking streaming) takes about 120ms. It turns out, that this mobile version of ReconstructMe is sufficient for control and stabilization of a quadcopter as can be seen in the video below. Note that all cables visible are for power supply purposes.

Hardware used:

Software used:

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