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Sonar on a Multicopter

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by BallisticPhantom, Jul 26, 2014.

  1. BallisticPhantom

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    I would really like to use a device to know how far from an object I am. I know this has been used for landing systems in the past. I was wondering if anyone has experience with something like this and could offer some idea where to start. Just looking to start with an audible warning for now. (installing to ODS is the goal)
     
  2. rilot

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    Well, if you build a multi with the APM you can use sonar and even flow sensors.
     
  3. OI Photography

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    These guys are working on the same concept, have been in development for months: http://www.panoptesuav.com/

    I haven't seen any other successful attempts at the same idea, though I know several were trying over at rcgroups.com, using kit sensors and trying to program via off-the-shelf logic boards.
     
  4. MiDri

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    A few of these https://www.sparkfun.com/products/8958 rigged to an atmini that then hooked into the Phantom's CAN bus could do it fairly easily and super cheap. We're talking non mas produced at under $100 which is a paltry some for something like this, you could easily mass produce them for $30-40 a unit and sell for $200-400.

    If you wanted a bit more range you could use ultrasonic receivers, but they run about 2x as much (but you could have multiple protection levels, lowering sensitivity at 5 feet and straight up moving away automatically at one foot)
     
  5. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    If you really want it to work properly, you need to detect objects at a range of 10m or more. At a decent speed, that will allow about 1 second for the Phantom reverse its attitude enough to halt whatever movement is taking place. The problem is your average sonar sensor has far less range and IR even less than that. So you're either talking about some expensive sensors, complicated filters and/or very limited range which means you have to fly slowly for it to work.

    And that doesn't even cover issues with tree branches, power lines, and other thin obstacles which are very difficult to detect with either sonar or IR.

    LiDAR is the answer. It's getting cheaper and smaller and it will have much better range and accuracy.
     
  6. BallisticPhantom

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    LiDAR would be very cool but a bit of Over Kill for my needs. I just want to know when I am getting close. I would like to use this to tell me 20' to 0' so I have an indicator how close I am to an object. I am not looking to engage an autopilot to save me feature or anything like that.

    Rilot- I am strictly DJI currently what would it take to go to the APM system? are the sonar sensors as easy as hooking em up?

    MiDri- I am not sure what a ATMINI is. Your solution sounds like it is something I could play with could you post some details?

    OL-I saw that on another thread. It looks like the site has issue or they took down all the details.

    Thanks for the ideas guys. This could help out with my fly ideas
     
  7. OI Photography

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    It's all there when I go look at it, you may have to scroll down past the main image to see the links and the rest of the info.
     
  8. ProfessorStein

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    I love the idea of sonar and/or other avoidance sensors... but worry that they would be too heavy. Do you think you can find a sonar setup that would be light enough?