THE PIXHAWK OPEN-SOURCE COMPUTER VISION FRAMEWORK FOR MAVS
Keywords: UAVs, MAVs, computer vision, open source, middleware, hardware
Abstract. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and micro air vehicles (MAV) are already intensively used in geodetic applications. State of the art autonomous systems are however geared towards the application area in safe and obstacle-free altitudes greater than 30 meters. Applications at lower altitudes still require a human pilot. A new application ﬁeld will be the reconstruction of structures and buildings, including the facades and roofs, with semi-autonomous MAVs. Ongoing research in the MAV robotics ﬁeld is focusing on enabling this system class to operate at lower altitudes in proximity to nearby obstacles and humans. PIXHAWK is an open source and open hardware toolkit for this purpose. The quadrotor design is optimized for onboard computer vision and can connect up to four cameras to its onboard computer. The validity of the system design is shown with a fully autonomous capture ﬂight along a building.