Let's build an autonomous drone!

    Unmanned aerial vehicles are a fashionable and promising topic, they are created by both professional robotics designers and enthusiasts, including students. However, creating a truly intelligent drone is still difficult for both. Someone rests on the limitations of the hardware platform, others cannot solve software problems, while others simply don’t have enough money to complete what they started.
    Now imagine that Intel has provided you with everything you need to create an intelligent autonomous drone: a powerful on-board computer, a complete set of aviation components, as well as software that can revive all of the above hardware.
    Now imagine that all this went completely free ! Do you think this does not happen? No inIntel Do-It-Yourself Challenge happens. See, all the kits are already cooked!

    Intel is ready to provide ready-made kits (hardware + on-board computer + software) to any university in Russia that has submitted an application for the competition. The task of the participants is to implement a project to adapt the drone to any specific goals: research, rescue, transport, etc.

    It is proposed to use an Android smartphone based on the Intel platform as the drone’s brain center: it has all the interfaces, sensors necessary for controlling the device, and, of course, the processing power that is quite sufficient for our purposes. Well, the popularity of the platform facilitates the development of software for it.

    The aircraft itself is made in the form of a paraglider with a motor. This design is easy to manage, sufficiently load-bearing and autonomous. To control the engine and controls, we chose the Pololu Maestro board. The servo controller is connected to the smartphone via USB or Bluetooth.
    The scope of the provided software package includes:
    • The basic Android application for controlling the engine and steering wheels is the basis of your future development;
    • Android application for remote control of a drone via a 3G network;
    • Windows application for controlling drone using gestures. This is how it looks in practice.

    So, we are looking for 20 universities, where enthusiastic students and teachers work and study. The task will be difficult and time consuming, but worth it. What is required to take part in the competition? First, to assemble a group of enthusiasts from your educational institution - this is not done alone. Secondly, find yourself an interested curator from the teachers, for sure there will also be such. And thirdly, to declare yourself by writing a letter to the organizer of the competition Paul Guermonprez (in English, of course). He can also be asked any questions about the contest.

    Please note that 20 sets will be distributed among educational institutions in the EMEA region, that is, Europe and Asia. The more actively you respond to this call, the more sets will come to Russia.

    Good luck and success!

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