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The future of Nodecopter

The future of Nodecopter

Presented at LXJS

Andrew Nesbitt

October 03, 2013

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  1. Let’s talk about Nodecopter

  2. Andrew Nesbitt @teabass Hi, I’m Andrew. A freelance software developer

    from the UK
  3. Bertie @BertramRabbit This is my rabbit Bertie

  4. Rabbits understand streams

  5. I’m the steward of the London Node.js User Group, one

    of the biggest Node meetups in Europe. We had our 2nd Birthday last week
  6. I’m also one of the organisers of the Great British

    Node Conference. It’s a community driven, not-for-profit conference in London and it’s only 5 days away!
  7. Core Team And just last week I was added to

    the core team
  8. Core Team And just last week I was added to

    the core team
  9. Previously Previously, at LXJS, Felix introduced the ar-drone library for

    controlling quadcopters programatically. This then became a Hack event called Nodecopter.
  10. There have been 20 official events across the globe, and

    there are at least 4 more confirmed, including one on this friday. You could say it’s really taking off!
  11. There have been 20 official events across the globe, and

    there are at least 4 more confirmed, including one on this friday. You could say it’s really taking off!
  12. There have been 20 official events across the globe, and

    there are at least 4 more confirmed, including one on this friday. You could say it’s really taking off!
  13. For the past 7 months, my life has revolved around

    these flying robots.
  14. Thanks to the London Node group I was able to

    put together a fleet of sponsored AR Drones
  15. So I could put on Nodecopter events across the UK.

    Like this one in Bath.
  16. And this one in London

  17. Helping over 400 developers to begin programming flying robots, across

    10 different events.
  18. and spending many hours repairing the envitible breakages along the

  19. BURFIELD I’d just like to take a minute to thank

    the numerous sponsors for their ongoing support of the events that I’ve been involved in. They couldn’t have been possible without them.
  20. Nodecopter.pt Right here in Lisbon! There may still be tickets,

    check out nodecopter.pt for details.
  21. Hacks I wanted to share a few of my favourite

  22. QR CodeR Encoding commands into QR code which are shown

    to the drone which detects and reads it then executes the command. This is possibly the only valid use of a QR code I’ve ever seen.
  23. Next up is my glamerous assistant Julian controlling a drone

    through the medium of interpretive dance.
  24. Continuing the theme of full body control, here I am

    controlling a drone using a Microsoft Kinect. The code for all of these demos is up on Github and listed on Nodecopter.com
  25. QAAS What we’ve seen come out of Nodecopter is something

    I like to call QaaS or Quadcopters as a service.
  26. Quadcopters as a Service The beauty of a high level

    api like Nodecopter is that it is almost as easy to integrate robots into a system as any other web service. And when there is such little overhead, more ambitious projects are more likely to be undertaken. Nodecopter Travis is a great example.
  27. Why do it? I often get asked why do I

    do so many Nodecopter events?
  28. Programmatic Flying Robots Firstly: Programmatic Flying Robots

  29. Dont you get bored? But don’t you get bored of

    them after a while?
  30. Programmatic Flying Robots!! HELLO PROGRAMMATIC FLYING ROBOTS!!! You’ve got some

    serious first world problems if you get bored of you’re own personal airbourne robotic servant!
  31. BEng Robotics & Automated Systems University of PLymouth To actually

    answer the question I need to go back a few years to my university degree, Robotics and Automated systems at Plymouth I based my decision to do this course almost completely on one TV show
  32. Robot wars: As a nerdy teenager this was my dream,

    to build remote control fighting robots and watch them smash the life out of each other. A degree in robots seemed like the perfect way to make this happen. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting
  33. How cool was that!

  34. Advanced Mathematics Mechanical Engineering Digital Electronics Analogue Electronics Computer Science

    Control Theory neural networking microprocessor Design Playing with Robots Learning Robotics This is what my course actually involved learning about.
  35. Advanced Mathematics Observing Robots behind glass Learning Robotics Advanced Mathematics

    Advanced Mathematics Advanced Mathematics Advanced Mathematics Advanced Mathematics Advanced Mathematics Advanced Mathematics Which is actually all just advanced maths and at the end of the three years you get to watch some industrial robots move a block around behind a screen. Nodecopter flips that learning process on it’s head
  36. Advanced Mathematics Mechanical Engineering Digital & Analogue Electronics Computer Science

    Control Theory neural networks microprocessor Design Playing with Robots Learning Nodecopter Computer Vision You start by getting your hands dirty, then when you run into huddles that stop something from working right, you need learn about all these things to improve. Nothing made that process more clear to me than when I took the fleet to CoderDojo
  37. CoderDojo CoderDojo is a global collection of events that provide

    free and open learning to young people, especially in programming and technology. We had about 25 kids aged between 11 and 15 working with their parents to hack on the drones.
  38. With just enough JavaScript to be danerous, the kids picked

    up the basics faster than I ever expected,
  39. Playing around with Virtual drones in Voxel to get the

    hang of them, then unleased on the real things, they caused havoc!
  40. This was incredibly inspiring for me, to see future generations

    of programmers taking to robotics like a duck to water, making dance routines and controllers out of tin foil.
  41. kids + robots = This is how robotics should be

    taught, hands on and engaging. Learning maths should be a side effect of making cool things not dry and boring. And incase it isn’t completely obvious to you...
  42. The future is made of robots The future is made

    of robots! The rate of change of technological progression is accelerating. Instead of seeing robots as magic mechanical boxes created by a corperation, they should be learning how to tame robots. It’s our responsibility to help them use robots for the good of humanity, rather than being slaves to them.
  43. What is next? So what’s next for Nodecopter, how can

    we take it up a level?
  44. NodeCopter Flight school I’d love to use the power of

    Nodecopter to help make a dent in the world Work with kids coding initatives like Code club and CoderDojo to get kids particiapting in robotics from a young age and maybe even using it as a platform to get robotics as part of school ciriculums.
  45. Drone Racing I’d also really like to put on a

    drone racing event. I’m a big motor racing fan, and I’ll love to add a competitive element to a nodecopter event
  46. I see this working a lot like the darpa challenge,

    where teams build automous cars to drive a course with no human interaction. Imagine a course that you had to fly a nodecopter through completely autonomously.
  47. One more thing I wasn’t going to come all this

    way and not show something cool.
  48. Nodecopter GPS Parrot recently brought out a GPS addon for

    the AR Drone, allowing for accurate positional feedback when outdoors. Although the new API is undocumented, I was able to reverse engineer it to get back lat/lon from the drone using the regular library.
  49. npm install ar-drone@0.2.1 Oh yeah, this version doesn’t exist yet,

    lets ship it now!
  50. None
  51. ar-drone-gps So for the past few weeks I’ve been building

    this control center on top of the GPS api, leaflet.js for the map and node- dronestream for video.
  52. Waypoint Route Follow Mode Return Home Video Stream Manual Gamepad

    Control Features Waypoint will fly to each pin on a map in turn, Follow mode tries to stay close to your mobile device, return home goes back to where it took off from and manual control is for taking over when things get crazy
  53. Mobile UI Photo button Integrate ARDrone-Autonomy Upload waypoints directly to

    drone Would be Nice It would be nice to have these features too
  54. github.com/andrew/ar-drone-gps And It’s on github!

  55. Thank You andrew@nodecopter.com github.com/andrew @teabass