Small autonomous quad drone does some powerful processing

Quad copters are available everywhere. You can get any entry level drone for cheap but still they are fun to play. Once you’re done with simple flying and observing you start to want more. This is where real fun begins. Some focus on adding more sensors and programming complex flight plans, other try to make a collaborative swarm of drones and even more. But most crazy ideas are born at universities. Check out an interesting project developed by Aeronoutics and Astronautics department student from Tokyo.

Drone is equipped with all standard quad rotor equipment like 3 axis accelerometer, gyros, compass. This is what allows to keep quad stable. ARM cortex-M4 keeps track of the systems. But most processing is done by Spartan-6 FPGA board which takes images with small camera and localizes itself by doing image processing. It gives great performance considering small drone size.

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