Firefly Eindhoven - Background

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Welcome to the Wiki of Firefly Eindhoven; a team of enthusiastic TU/e students who strive to deliver amazing light shows combining drones motion, lights and music.

The project started in 2016 with the first generation of students of the high-tech systems track of the honours academy at TU/e; subsequent generations of students have continued and shaped the project to its present form. The team performed the first show on April 2018. A video summarizing the performance can be found here Two other shows are planned for the end of 2018. Moreover, the team is also working towards an app by which everyone can design their own show and towards streamlining the show implementation process so that any show concept can then be easily implemented.

This Wiki summarizes the vision, the developments and the achievements of the team. Pertaining the developments, the team identified four main focus areas in order to create a drone show:

1. Show Design. This pertains to the design of the actual drone manoeuvres, the music and the light effects, which are synchronized to achieve a visually appealing show.

2. Localization. One of the crucial aspects to ensure proper done manoeuvres is to accurately determine the positions and attitudes of the drones. The team has experience with several sensor technologies, such as ultra-wide band, ultra-sound, off-board camera based localization and on-board camera localization, among others.

3. Control and coordination. Once the desired manoeuvres have been selected and the sensors provide accurate position and attitude measurements, the drones need to be controlled and coordinated in such a way that they achieve adequate behaviour. To this effect, the team has developed adequate trajectory tracking, path following and collision avoidance algorithms.

4. Hardware and low-level software. This pertains to the building process of adequate drones and programming them at a low-level so that they can be easily used in high-level programming layers. For this, we mainly rely on Avular, a drone manufacturing company the team collaborates with. In particular, the team contributed in the process that led to the amazing curiosity drone developed by Avular and used in our shows. In order to develop the software for the shows, the drone can be abstracted by a Simulink/Matlab interface and an operator manual.

Besides these focus areas the team has also created simulation and animation models in Matlab/Simulink and uses ground robots for testing algorithms. Moreover, the team also communicates its developments and achievements via a website and the present wiki.

The team decided to create a wiki instead of a report, to have a 'live document' which can be read and updated by new year students. The remainder of this Wiki is organized into the following Wiki pages (subsections):

1. The vision and mission of the team are first stated.

2. The show design is described, including the concept shown in the TMC event and the future plans for the two next events (Robot Love and GLOW)

3. The strategies developed by the team for the crucial localization of the drones is described. This include the following sensors: Ultrawideband, Top Camera, Ultrasound, Verax, among others

4. The control and coordination strategies used by the team are summarized.

5. The light design for the drones performing the show is described.

6. An operator manual to fly the drone is given.

7. The future plans pertaining to the future app which will allow anyone to design their own show is discussed.

8. The operation and software development for the ground robots, used for prototyping in the team, is addressed.

9. The visualization and simulation environment used by the team to develop the current ideas is summarized.

10. The process of maintaining the team's website and wiki page is discussed.