Monday, August 24, 2015

Source files of control panel and server part can be found here:

https://github.com/gshmakov/cellcopter

3 comments:

  1. Hi!

    I wanted to say that this is a very exciting project and that I wish you best of luck!

    Became recently interested in quadcopters and when I started reading about RC it seemed a bit limited. This solution on the other hand seems very efficient for most cases since a large amout of data can be transfered through the phone net.

    I was just wondering if one of those microcomputers such as the Raspberry pi with a GSM/3G/4G module can be used in this project to for example Lower costs or increase computing power. Can the design of the software for the parrot drone bebop be used (maybe protected though)? I truly do not know, since I do not posses the technical competence, though these thoughts popped up.

    Best wishes!

    Denis

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    Replies
    1. Hi Denis,
      Surely RPI can be used but it has it's pros and cons.
      Pros:
      - Linux make things simpler to develop.
      - broad range of supported 3G/LTE/WiFi devices.
      - RPI has nice hardware h264 encoder.
      Cons:
      - first and the biggest one is reliability of this solution.

      I made this research (built a copter using RPI for FPV and control and additional hardware for safety and motor PWM signals) earlier this year and discovered following issues:
      - if something goes wrong with Linux kernel there is no way to instantly reset system without additional hardware (RPI has nothing similar to watchdog timer found in microcontrollers world)
      - even when additional hardware is used to turn power off and on again, I experienced few times RPI cannot boot due to filesystem errors.
      - RPI has no way to produce PWM/PPM to drive flight controller -> again means additional hardware.
      - h264 can be reliably transmitted over average quality 3G/LTE network only without inter frame interpolation. That makes it close to mjpeg stream in terms of bandwidth.
      - quality rendering h264 in browser (by Broadway) can be only achieved by using very top hardware - means it will require high end tablet to do so. In contrast mjpeg can be easily and reliably rendered on iPhone 3 like hardware.

      So to sum up everything - RPI is tempting but irreliable solution for now.
      However, some people may argue with me. As example emlid.com runs arducopter soft on RPI but I never tried it myself so can't comment.

      Gennady

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    2. Really nice talk about current state of using Linux based microcomputers for drones.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Twl2mQAh6g

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