Quantifying the Design-Space Tradeoffs in Autonomous Drones

Ramyad Hadidi, Bahar Asgari, Sam Jijina, Adriana Amyette, Nima Shoghi, Hyesoon Kim
2021 Zenodo  
With fully autonomous flight capabilities coupled with user-specific applications, drones, in particular quadcopter drones, are becoming prevalent solutions in myriad commercial and research contexts. However, autonomous drones must operate within constraints and design considerations that are quite different from any other compute-based agent. At any given time, a drone must arbitrate among its limited compute, energy, and electromechanical resources. Despite huge technological advances in
more » ... cal advances in this area, each of these problems has been approached in isolation and drone systems design-space tradeoffs are largely unknown. To address this knowledge gap, we formalize the fundamental drone subsystems and find how computations impact this design space. We present a design-space exploration of autonomous drone systems and quantify how we can provide productive solutions. As an example, we study widely used simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) on various platforms and demonstrate that optimizing SLAM on FPGA is more fruitful for the drones. Finally, to address the lack of publicly available experimental drones, we release our open-source drone that is customizable across the hardware-software stack.
doi:10.5281/zenodo.4546367 fatcat:ngkihm2ozfcnzg2nmbh3ciyosy