Swarm drones

Hello everyone!

I’m Michal and I’m new here so really nice to meet you all! I’m a developer and I’d like to research drone autonomous flying.

I want to buy few drones and learn them to understand each other and space around them so they can do simple tasks as a swarm (not a single drone). I do not own any hardware (no drones:( ) yet but I believe NAVIO2 is good thing to start.

I need programable drones with access to sensors and wireless communication with server. Also I will need to come up with some kind of auto-charging (I haven’t see any solution like that other than skysense).

Could you please advice me what is the best hardware I can start with?

a navio2 and rpi3 will be a good start!
you should buy a frew cheap frames something like this quadcopter - save money if they crash;
for your swarm feature you will have to decide how you want to implement it; you could use a single lidar for precise height measurement and a 360degree (with a narrow beam) lidar for relative drone position;
or you could use a rotating camera or 2 cameras to get position of other drones;
you can use a rtk gps on every drone for precise positioning - which might be the easiest solution in my opinion; but i don’t know if so many (don’t know how many drones make a swarm?) rtk antennas and groundplanes give good signal - though you could use helix antennas without ground planes; it might depend on the distance of each drone to the other if that would be usable; thought if one drone is blocking the sky for another drone rtkgps could lose precision; (but lidar ground height also gives wrong measurements then…
and maybe IRLOCK can help if u use their beacons position management!

ultrasound modules, although they are cheap, might interfere with each other if you have multiple and on multiple drones;

is that what you wanna achieve?

all in all you are going to have to do a lot of thinking about how you want to implement it and what your problems are going to be…

panky had some good recommendations, and what a cool video.

BUT, what if your doing indoors, which if your doing research might be the case?