Precision Landing and Drone Delivery
The drone delivery course that not one but TWO MULTI MILLION DOLLAR drone delivery companies have taken! Become their peers with this course.
Take Your Drone Skills to the Next Level for that Research Project, New Startup or Awesome Backyard Project!
This course will take you from some guy or gal with this crazy drone idea, to someone who is armed with the technical knowledge required to bring that advanced drone application or feature to life!
In our capstone project, you’ll learn how to create and run your own autonomous taco drone delivery mission! Of course, you can substitute the taco for any other object, but who doesn’t like tacos?!
We use this capstone project as our goal in this comprehensive EIGHT hour course, but in the process you’ll learn a TON about several other EXTREMELY useful subjects, like:
- Drone Delivery
- Precision Landing (3 to 12 inch accuracy)
- Computer Vision/OpenCV Influenced Flight
- Advanced Drone Simulation and Code Testing
- Cameras and drones
- Much much more!
Advanced subjects you'll be able to plug together like lego blocks to develop your own drone application!
Not one but TWO multi-million dollar drone delivery companies took this course, so I’m confident you’ll be able to take a ton of value out of it as well!
So enough about drone delivery for a sec, what is another core takeaway from this course??
Well, you’ll learn about The Secret to Rapidly Prototyping Advanced Drone Applications….
What a lot of hopeful drone engineers don’t understand about prototyping their code, is that they do NOT (and should not) test new untested code on an actual drone.
What is the alternative?
Simulated drones right on your computer. In this course, we use the advanced physics simulator called Gazebo to test our drone code right on our computer, before going out to the field.
On this Gazebo simulator, we can even simulate a camera feed on the drone, allowing us to prototype our openCV scripts in the safe simulated world!
Powerful stuff right?!
Mastering this Gazebo simulator will make you a pro at rapidly prototyping your own drone missions! Once the script works in the simulated world, simply port it over to the real drone!
That is how we approach our precision landing script. We mocked some aruco markers in Gazebo, tested the script, confirmed it worked, then ran it in the real world!
We’ll show you how to use Gazebo so you can take advantage of this powerful simulator for your own projects!
Check out this side by side image of our precision landing script in action! On the left, we have our simulated Gazebo drone, and on the right we have our real drone. The real drone is running basically the same code as the simulated drone, and it works!
Who is this course for?
- Drone Hobbyists looking to take their skills to the next level
- Advanced college or post-grad students seeking a comprehensive reference for openCV scripting of drones
- Engineers interested in the rapid prototyping of computer vision drone scripts by leveraging the Gazebo simulator
- Those with ideas and drive but lacking the knowledge to create advanced autonomous drone applications requiring precision landing
- Industrious start-up hopefuls looking to build the next great precision ag or package delivery company
- Anyone interested in computer vision, simulation and robotics
Do I need a drone to follow along in this course?
You actually do not need a drone to get extreme value out of this course. This is because about 50% of all the material focuses on writing, testing and simulating our openCV drone scripts in the simulated gazebo world- right from your computer! About 40% of the lectures are dedicated to setting up physical hardware or flying real missions that we first staged on the simulator, and the last 10% we spend on theory and introductions to the myriad of topics in this course. So if you only have a computer, 60% of the curriculum still directly applies. Considering there is 8+ hours of video, that’s still a ton of information to digest!
If I wanted to follow along with an actual drone, what type of drone would work?
Any drone running ArduPilot that is set up with a companion computer will work to follow along with this course. See the 'How to Build a Drone' course if you do not have a drone but would like to build one.
If you need an ArduPilot drone and do not have one, we offer completed drone kits called PiHawks with all 40+ parts pre-selected. Check the following link for more information and if we are currently in stock.
What prerequisite knowledge do I need?
This course uses the material from the 'Drone Programming Primer' and 'How to Build a Drone' courses as a springboard into more advanced drone topics. Think of those courses as Freshman/Sophomore level, and this one as Junior/Senior level.
It is highly recommended that you have basic knowledge of drone software like ArduPilot, Dronekit, MAVProxy and Mission Planner before enrolling in this course, as we will not be re-explaining the fundamentals of these topics. This course also assumes you have basic drone skills and knowledge of basic hardware if you intend to follow along with an actual drone.
If you feel your knowledge is lacking in either the software or hardware departments, please consider enrolling in the fundamental classes before proceeding into this one.
Some more very specific highlights in this course:
- Rangefinders and what they allow us to do
- Advanced 3D simulation of an ArduPilot drone in the Gazebo simulator
- Learn ROS basics
- Pair Gazebo simulator with ROS to simulate a camera attached to the simulated drone
- Access and process the simulated camera feed in a python script
- Learn about Aruco markers, what they do, and how they can be used with openCV
- Use the simulated camera feed with openCV to write airborne computer vision scripts that will influence drone flight
- Write a computer vision python script to command the drone to land on a target
- Obtain and analyze dataflash logs for diagnosing rangefinder and precision landing issues
- Install and calibrate a camera for a real drone
- Learn about advanced computer vision based precision landing with Aruco Arrays
- Write a script to perform an autonomous drone delivery of a taco
Caleb Bergquist feels very uncomfortable with writing about himself, but he hopes you will pretend to read the rest of this while thinking he did not write this himself, and not judge him for his self-bloviating autobiography camouflaged as a biography. He digresses. Caleb Bergquist has a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Tulsa, and currently works as a DevOps engineer at a software company by day. By night, he is a hobbyist/tinkerer in many areas, but has been magnetized towards all things drones, from hardware to software. The trend here is that there is no trend. I’ve.. I mean, he has spent much time binge-learning of the myriad of open source projects that are fueling the development of the drone space, and wishes to lower the barrier of entry to these subjects for those coming behind him. He wishes to do this by combining his experience as an instructor, with the democratization of the knowledge he’s accumulated on the fringes of new technologies.
Frequently Asked Questions
There have been times in the past where we had to temporarily prevent new students from enrolling, as we can only support so many people's questions and learning process. If you are looking to dive into this material, I would recommend not procrastinating, as you may have to wait a month or so before enrollment opens back up.