Sentinel is the team’s first competitive autonomous multirotor designed to compete in the International Aerial Robotics Competition.
The current mission proposed by the IARC requires our autonomous aerial robot to guide autonomous ground robots to one side of a playing field by interacting with them physically through touch. Each ground robot is outfitted with bump sensors that, when activated, cause the robot to turn in a certain direction. This means that Sentinel must identify the ground robots, recognize which direction they are travelling, know which direction they need to go, and run a decision making process to decided what it needs to do to the robot in order to get it to go in the correct direction, all autonomously!
Sentinel will be carrying many types of on-board electronics that will enable it to fly completely autonomously and identify targets based on shape and color. These electronics include a PixHawk Flight Control Board that will be running our own custom autonomous flight software, and an Nvidia Jetson board that will process the images captured by our Intel RealSense camera. Sentinel uses the Intel Realsense camera in conjunction with computer vision software to identify and target ground robots. It can then decide which ground robots to prioritize and engage.
Stay tuned for flight videos chronicling Sentinel’s progress as we prepare for the 2018 IARC!