How I built an autonomous drone using open-source software

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As a boy flying line-control RC planes in my front yard, I would spend hours spinning in a dizzying circle perfecting the art of line-control flight. Eventually, I graduated to gas and battery powered, wireless RC aircraft. Fast-forward to adulthood… and an interest in software and mutli-rotor quadcopters. I built many (dozens actually) RC controlled quadcopters… but autonomy kept calling. For a drone to fly autonomously… sensors, processing power, and communication chips must be on-board. While that may not seem like much, it actually requires a considerably powerful flight controller and associated sensors. In this presentation, the necessary steps required to build an autonomous drone using custom and open-source software will be discussed. All of the failures and the eventual success will be demonstrated.

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