Autonomous quad build questions

Hello all,

I’m creating an autonomous quad capable of lifting a 1kg payload, image/facial recognition, and (basic) obstacle avoidance. I just had a couple questions.

1.) I’m using the Pi + Navio2, but I wanted to know what frame/motors/escs would be the best for me. I was thinking of something like 450mm-650mm, ~600-800kv motors, and 20A escs with a 4s? 5000Mah+ battery?
The quad needs to be stable and have a flight time of about 20 minutes with the payload.

2.) For sending a video stream, can I use a 4G modem connected to the Pi? How would I connect my computer to the modem? Will this serve as a way to see flight data of the quad as well on mission planner? (telemetry, position, etc.) I will have a RC + receiver, but that will be as a backup - I want to fly it mainly based off the pre-set waypoint missions.

3.) I’m also using ultrasonic sensors (HR-SO4) around the quad (which will be connected to the Pi) and will be programming in Python to override the controls. (ex: If an object is < 2m away, move to the left 1m). Can I do this in mission planner? How would this type of communication work and how would I talk to the motors?

4.) For image/facial recognition, I’m using OpenCV. Do you guys recommend the camera module or is it advisable to get an actual camera mounted on a gimbal or something? And if I did get a camera mounted on a gimbal, how could I connect it to the Pi?

Actually, I’m working on a proposal for quadcopters in response to humanitarian crisis (carrying first-aid kits, etc.). If it is accepted, I’ll receive a budget to build the quadcopter! I know this build will be a challenge, but I am up for it. I know how to build a quadcopter, but I am by no means a pro.

Thanks for all your help! :slight_smile:

Unable to answer all your questions.

The ones I have input to give:

  1. Yes, The Pi is running Linux. I use a Ericsson MD400 (3g modem). There is multiple ways in how to set up network with 3/4g modems. If you google your modem name and linux I’m sure you will find plenty of information.

    The second part of the question on how to connect your computer to the drone is a network administration problem and the answer will depend on a number of factors. For example, is your phone-provider providing a public IP? if not, well then you will have to get around that problem (You are able to find solutions on google).
    I talked to my provider and they changed the terms for my “phone-contract” so it is now available publicly with its own IP-address.

    The third part, yes you are able to send drone data over network. This is covered in this section of the docs for navio2 But again you will have to solve the “how” to connect first.

  2. Not sure, but I know that the Raspberry Pi foundation invested money to get a good functionality for OpenCV and their camera. I tested to use a ordinary webcam with the Pi just a couple of days ago and the result wasn’t pleasant. The camera worked on the latest version of xubuntu but not at all on raspbian. So because of that I bought RPi Camera module instead.

Much of the Software questions you have, has little to do with actual drones and more todo with Linux Sysadmin work. Google will probably solve many of those problems for you, as long you know what the problem really is.

Good luck!

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