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KATHERINE JAMES

Developing an unmanned aerial vehicle capable of 
autonomous collision avoidance
Supervisors: Prof. Karen Bradshaw and Mr Anthony Sullivan

Abstract
The use of unmanned aerial vehicles or drones is becoming widespread in society. 
The Parrot AR Drone 2.0 is a commercially available drone, created as a toy but an ideal candidate 
for experimentation. The standard AR Drone has no obstacle avoidance built into its groundstation 
controlled API, Node-ar-drone, for set flight routines. This thesis aims to extend the AR Drone's 
abilities to include NodeJS based object avoidance by making use of additional ultrasonic sensors and 
associated hardware to allow for distance detection. Three ultrasonic sensors are interfaced to 
the drone as well as a microcontroller and the resulting distance data is sent across to the groundstation
via an ESP8266 WiFi module. If an object is detected closer than a certain threshold, an object 
avoidance routine is entered into, upon conclusion of which the drone's on-board magnetometer is 
used to find the drone's initial heading, allowing the drone to continue on its interrupted 
forward flight.
Subpages (1): Seminars
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Thesis.pdf
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