Dronevision: An Experimental 3D Testbed for Flying Light Specks

Hamed Alimohammadzadeh, Rohit Bernard, Yang Chen,Trung Phan, Prashant Singh, Shuqin Zhu,Heather Culbertson,Shahram Ghandeharizadeh


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Today's robotic laboratories for drones are housed in a large room. At times, they are the size of a warehouse. These spaces are typically equipped with permanent devices to localize the drones, e.g., Vicon Infrared cameras. Significant time is invested to fine-tune the localization apparatus to compute and control the position of the drones. One may use these laboratories to develop a 3D multimedia system with miniature sized drones configured with light sources. As an alternative, this brave new idea paper envisions shrinking these room-sized laboratories to the size of a cube or cuboid that sits on a desk and costs less than 10K dollars. The resulting Dronevision (DV) will be the size of a 1990s Television. In addition to light sources, its Flying Light Specks (FLSs) will be network-enabled drones with storage and processing capability to implement decentralized algorithms. The DV will include a localization technique to expedite development of 3D displays. It will act as a haptic interface for a user to interact with and manipulate the 3D virtual illuminations. It will empower an experimenter to design, implement, test, debug, and maintain software and hardware that realize novel algorithms in the comfort of their office without having to reserve a laboratory. In addition to enhancing productivity, it will improve safety of the experimenter by minimizing the likelihood of accidents. This paper introduces the concept of a DV, the research agenda one may pursue using this device, and our plans to realize one.
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