Game-of-Drone-Stand2
The processing logic we could apply to the positional data from the drones thanks to the LabVIEW development environment allowed us to calculate the trajectory of all six aircraft in real-time and prevents mid-air collisions.
THE CHALLENGE

Create a system to allow members of the public to safely fly one of six micro drones within a 6m x 6m purpose built enclosure

THE SOLUTION

Develop a proprietary localisation system that provides real-time, three-dimensional position information of each drone alongside projected trajectory calculations to prevent mid-air collisions.

INTRODUCTION

We were approached by Intel in partnership with Vivid Sydney to design and develop an interactive drone and lighting installation; “Game of Drones”. Which involved untrained members of the public, operating one of six micro drones without collision within a 6x6m purpose build environment located within a GPS dead-zone (Martin Place, Sydney). The solution needed to operate reliably for 6 hours per day for 18 days over the length of the festival.

 

For this project public safety was the upmost priority and the untrained operation of drones in a public space presented significant safety risks unless these challenges could be addressed.

 

We were approached by Intel in partnership with Vivid Sydney to design and develop an interactive drone and lighting installation; “Game of Drones”. Which involved untrained members of the public, operating one of six micro drones without collision within a 6x6m purpose build environment located within a GPS dead-zone (Martin Place, Sydney). The solution needed to operate reliably for 6 hours per day for 18 days over the length of the festival.

 

For this project public safety was the upmost priority and the untrained operation of drones in a public space presented significant safety risks unless these challenges could be addressed.

ENTER TRACK X

In response to these challenges Robotics Systems developed TrackX; a unique localisation system to provide real-time three-dimensional position information for each drone. TrackX allows for a positional accuracy of ±10cm on all axes, despite the constraints of a GPS-denied environment, by processing the time-of-flight information of radio waves from three known positions to simultaneously locate six or more drones at a rate of 15 Hz. These details were fed to a ground control station which automatically analysed and acted on the positional data.

 

This development of this system was underpinned by the National Instruments’ LabVIEW software package. This allowed us to easily integrate real-time measurement data from a range of devices involved in the TrackX system and apply complex processing logic to quickly make decisions and update the drones flight paths.

 

The processing logic we could apply to the positional data from the drones thanks to the LabVIEW development environment allowed us to calculate the trajectory of all six aircraft in real-time and prevents mid-air collisions. This dramatically increased usability, safety and reliability for the installation, allowing the untrained user to fly the drone around the enclosure using a tablet computer.

 

Additionally, utilizing the LabVIEW software package allows us to dramatically increase our speed of development over other platforms.

“DRONES BATTLE IT OUT IN THE CENTER OF SYDNEY”

The installation was a huge success at the Vivid Sydney festival, attracting many patrons who were interested in flying a drone, many for their first time. The popularity and success of this unique installation also attracted a significant amount of media attention and built the foundation of a partnership between Robotic Systems and Intel

 

While this installation was for entertainment purposes only the TrackX system that was developed in response to the unique challenges is stand alone and can be applied to locate and position any number of devices within a known environment

AUTHOR INFORMATION

Adam Amos
Director | Robotic Systems
19/3 Frost Drive
Mayfield West, NSW, 2304
Australia
Tel: (02) 49671072
contact@roboticsystems.com.au

SYSTEM SPECIFICATIONS

  • Locate and track up to 20 devices in a localised space at 15Hz
  • Positional Accuracy of ±10cm on all axes
  • No GNSS satellite, WiFi, 4G etc connection required.
  • Ground station processing system allows for device trajectory calculations