Research focus of the UZH Robotics and Perception Group

An important research focus of our working group is the development of computer algorithms for the autonomous control of quadrocopter drones. Our drones should be able to fly autonomously in complex environments where GPS information is not available. Our drones are equipped with onboard sensors, such as a camera or accelerometers, and an onboard computer. Our goal is to make autonomous drones fly faster, more efficiently, and more safely than human-controlled drones. To achieve this goal, we conduct research projects in collaboration with professional drone pilots and organise drone races.

Thematised focal points:

  • Robotics
  • Autonomous drones
  • Visual-based navigation
  • Machine learning
  • Human-machine interaction
Recommended Products

Vantage is Vicon’s flagship range of cameras. The sensors have resolutions of 5, 8 and 16 megapixels, with sample rates up to 2000Hz – this allows you to capture fast movements with very high accuracy. The cameras also have built-in temperature and bump sensors, as well as a clear display, to warn you if cameras have moved physically or due to thermal expansion. High-powered LEDs and sunlight filters mean that the Vantage is also the best choice for outdoor use and large volumes.

The compact Vero cameras have sensor resolutions of either 1.3 or 2.2 megapixels. The camera has a variable zoom lens, which makes it especially suited for smaller capture volumes where it is especially important to have an optimum field of view. The Vero’s attractive price combined with its light weight and small size makes it a great choice for smaller labs and studios.

Tracker has been designed for the requirements and workflow of Engineering users wanting to track the position and orientation of objects with as little effort and as low latency as possible. Perfect for many applications in robotics, UAV tracking, VR and human-machine interaction, Tracker lets you define what you want to track with a couple of mouse clicks – and then you can just leave in the background tracking. A simple SDK lets you connect the output data stream to your own software.

Tracking Arena

In order to test our computer algorithms in the real world and to investigate the flight behaviour of drone pilots during drone races, we commissioned prophysics AG to install a tracking arena in an aircraft hangar. The Tracking Arena consists of a spatial volume of 700 m² at a height of 8 m. The 36 Vicon Vantage V5 cameras are placed around this volume. Together with the Vicon Tracker software, the flight distance is measured during drone races or acrobatic flights of autonomous and pilot-controlled drones.

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