Drone Autonomy Crash Course

By: Carlos Gonzalez

A crash course review of modern day drone modeling, state estimation, motion planning, and control.

Model

The standard model of a quadcopter is introduced.

Carlos Carlos
7 min read

Simulation

Using the model from the previous post we simulate the trajectory a quadcopter will take.

Carlos Carlos
5 min read

State Estimation (WIP)

This is a longer card with supporting text below as a natural lead-in to additional content. This content is a little bit longer.

Carlos Carlos
6 min read

Differential Flatness (WIP)

This is a longer card with supporting text below as a natural lead-in to additional content. This content is a little bit longer.

Carlos Carlos
6 min read

Motion Planning (WIP)

This is a longer card with supporting text below as a natural lead-in to additional content. This content is a little bit longer.

Carlos Carlos
6 min read

Control (WIP)

This is a longer card with supporting text below as a natural lead-in to additional content. This content is a little bit longer.

Carlos Carlos
6 min read

Full Architecture Example (WIP)

This is a longer card with supporting text below as a natural lead-in to additional content. This content is a little bit longer.

Carlos Carlos
6 min read


F.A.Q.


What is this?

A short introduction to doing modeling, state estimation, motion planning, and control for quadcopters. My goal with this is not to be an authoritative source but instead to serve as a “jumping off point” for people who are new to the topic. Once you finish this you’ll have a good understanding of how a quadcopter can be made autonomous. I’ve also included references in every post for those that want a more rigorous look at the topics that I discuss. Some sections are still being completed, denoted (WIP), but they'll be done soon.


Why did you make this?

Because something like this should exist… Seriously… When I was an undergrad I became obsessed with quadcopters and that led me to wanting to know how to make them autonomous. However, even after reading all the research papers I could find I was just as confused as when I started. Partly because academic research papers can be succinct to a fault, but also because few of them were self-contained so trying to see the big picture was nearly impossible (for me at least). I just wanted a short, simple, and straightforward overview of the parts that go into making a quadcopter autonomous. After a couple of years of putting the pieces together I decided that I should make a short guide that does just that so that newcomers to the topic don’t have as tough of a time as I did.


Why didn't you just write a paper instead?

I actually did start writing a paper but it turned out to be over 80 pages long. As a result I decided that breaking it down into pieces would make it a bit more digestible. This also led to my writing being more casual which worked out well since my goal isn’t to be rigorous but to give more of an intuitive feel for the topics. All of the posts include references where the topics are explored more rigorously.


Who are you?

Hello! I’m Carlos. I’m a guy who’s really into quadcopters.