Help me to choose my first drone


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I want to buy a programmable drone (c++, Python preferable). Fly zone is in the woods, so max flight time is important as well sensors for obstacle avoidance. I must be able to code & process the camera input and do pretrained object recognition (like with openCV lib.). Any suggestions? Budget is 500EUR max :/

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10 hours ago, Janis Taranda said:

I want to buy a programmable drone (c++, Python preferable). Fly zone is in the woods, so max flight time is important as well sensors for obstacle avoidance. I must be able to code & process the camera input and do pretrained object recognition (like with openCV lib.). Any suggestions? Budget is 500EUR max :/

There are 2 open source flight stacks that you may want to consider that run on a variety of hardware. Also they have simulation tools so you can get to know them without hardware to start.

https://ardupilot.org

https://px4.io

I am more familiar with the first one and have built several drones with that stack. The second one though is often used in some "off the shelf" drones so that could be better if you don't want to assemble the hardware. Both provide a SDK for several languages including C++ and Python. The core software mainly handles the flight control functions and typically a companion computer is required for video processing. I often thought about using one of these but have not got around to it.

https://openmv.io

Hopefully this helps.

Edited by Spitfire76
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33 minutes ago, Spitfire76 said:

There are 2 open source flight stacks that you may want to consider that run on a variety of hardware. Also they have simulation tools so you can get to know them without hardware to start.

https://ardupilot.org

https://px4.io

I am more familiar with the first one and have built several drones with that stack. The second one though is often used in some "off the shelf" drones so that could be better if you don't want to assemble the hardware. Both provide a SDK for several languages including C++ and Python. The core software mainly handles the flight control functions and typically a companion computer is required for video processing. I often thought about using one of these but have not got around to it.

https://openmv.io

Hopefully this helps.

How do I figure out all the hardware I need and find the stores? I'm good at programming but total zero about how to build a actual drone from parts. "off the shelf" sounds good, but I found nothing like that in page. Could you elaborate, please?

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58 minutes ago, Janis Taranda said:

How do I figure out all the hardware I need and find the stores? I'm good at programming but total zero about how to build a actual drone from parts. "off the shelf" sounds good, but I found nothing like that in page. Could you elaborate, please?

This is just an example and may or may not be the type of drone that you need but a drone development kit like this would avoid you having to source parts.

https://docs.px4.io/master/en/complete_vehicles/px4_vision_kit.html

Looks like you would need to contact Holybro for pricing and availability but their email is provided in the above link.

Here is another from NXP. 

https://www.nxp.com/applications/solutions/industrial/aerospace-and-mobile-robotics/uavs-drones-and-rovers/nxp-hovergames-drone-kit-including-rddrone-fmuk66-and-peripherals:KIT-HGDRONEK66

It would help if you could provide some more details on exactly what you want to achieve.

Edited by Spitfire76
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30 minutes ago, Spitfire76 said:

This is just an example and may or may not be the type of drone that you need but a drone development kit like this would avoid you having to source parts.

https://docs.px4.io/master/en/complete_vehicles/px4_vision_kit.html

Looks like you would need to contact Holybro for pricing and availability but their email is provided in the above link.

Here is another from NXP. 

https://www.nxp.com/applications/solutions/industrial/aerospace-and-mobile-robotics/uavs-drones-and-rovers/nxp-hovergames-drone-kit-including-rddrone-fmuk66-and-peripherals:KIT-HGDRONEK66

It would help if you could provide some more details on exactly what you want to achieve.

OK I sent an email. The nxp is missing much stuff I need as much I understand being a drone noob.

If you know any other ready-to-go programmable drones that I can buy, let me know. 

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17 hours ago, Janis Taranda said:

If you know any other ready-to-go programmable drones that I can buy, let me know. 

Well you might simply want to check out the SDKs on some of the ready built drones like DJI and Parrot to see if they fit your needs. 

https://developer.dji.com

https://developer.parrot.com

You mentioned in your initial post that your target area for flying is in woods so collision avoidance is important. I know that DJI has collision avoidance on most of their mid to high end drones but not sure about Parrot. There is also Skydio as they have what looks like great collision avoidance technology but not sure if they have an SDK and currently only ship to USA and Canada and since you mentioned you budget in Euros I assume you are not in those countries. 

https://www.skydio.com/

There is also Altel and Yuneec but I haven't been following those companies lately. 

https://auteldrones.com

https://www.yuneec.com/en_US/home.html

I should point out that I don't own any of the above drones so can't really recommend any particular one. 

 

Edited by Spitfire76
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