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How can I benefit from drones in fields of home security?

fahancer

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Hello all, I am a software engineering student albeit I have no experience on drones. I was pondering about my detached house's security and I have come up with an idea.

I am thinking of a drone that:
Stores energy at daytimes by a solar panel.
If that energy is insufficient, generates electricity by its rotors.
Flies around the garden and 1) approaches the target 2) turns the flash lights on 3) send notification to my mobile phone if it senses a change a) visually b) aurally. (using TensorFlow)

I have watched several videos about drones for surveillance and tracking; however, I do not know how to get started. Is there someone that wants to guide me?

Best regards.
 

usingh

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Hello all, I am a software engineering student albeit I have no experience on drones. I was pondering about my detached house's security and I have come up with an idea.

I am thinking of a drone that:
Stores energy at daytimes by a solar panel.
If that energy is insufficient, generates electricity by its rotors.
Flies around the garden and 1) approaches the target 2) turns the flash lights on 3) send notification to my mobile phone if it senses a change a) visually b) aurally. (using TensorFlow)

I have watched several videos about drones for surveillance and tracking; however, I do not know how to get started. Is there someone that wants to guide me?

Best regards.

Hello @fahancer So I am working on a concept which is somewhat in alignment with yours.
I have a startup in India with drones called DronaMaps, and typically we used to do 3D mapping using larger drones. However, lately we have been experimenting with nano drones, and hence comes in Tello.
The situation you have described, I can repeat with the features we have derived as well as the challenges as I see them, and I look forward to your comments.

Features and challenges:
  1. Nano drone under 250 gram
  2. Solar panel addition is trivial. Plenty of portable/foldable mobile solar chargers exist and the right one can just be 'fixed' on a house rooftop to provide unattended recharging, given you have a wireless recharging base. Wall outlet connections can be added to a charging base and interchanged with solar as necessary.
  3. Drone has to offload all key processing and vision applications to a computer since such a small form factor cannot accommodate a GPU efficiently.
  4. When you say that you want the drone to generate energy by rotating it's propellers, I don't think that's possible. One, circuits are lined with diodes to ensure the current direction of current TO the motors and not FROM it, even on a RPi or Flight controllers. You'd burn your ESCs def. But putting that aside, and under the assumption that you want to generate electricity from propellers using wind energy, that would be meager, silly amounts. For reference, the formula for the electric power is P = π/2 * r² * v³ * ρ * η, one watt is calculated as 1 W = 1 kg * m² / s³. Example: an offshore wind turbine with a radius of 80 meters at a wind speed of 15 meters per second has a power of 16.3 megawatts, if air density and efficiency factor have the given values. Here, your radius along with the flux in magnets is not enough, can't charge lipo batteries at that trickle a rate (needs regulated charging or can catch fire), and it would take days if not weeks to do one charge (for a tello).
  5. No flashlights necessary. Tello sized custom drone (under 250 gram) can have a multispectral+rgb+IR image sensor and camera as a single payload with up to 16mpx. It can 3D map your environment several times a day, fully autonomously. Once all information is received via Visual Odometry, you can do diffs everyday to do change tracking. (we do that for large enterprises like mining and all). Notifications can be sent to your mobile phone with each object being separately tracked in 3D space for changes at a centimeter scale several times a day, depending on recharge frequency using a solar array/wall outlet. Swarm functionality can be built in here easily. This is all application level functionality and once the basics have been worked out, these should be easy enough.
  6. The biggest key in being able to accomplish this unattended functionality would be to invent a small enough wireless charging capability (think Qi and more). Without wireless recharging, nothing works. Without that, you'd have to change batteries every 10 minutes, all day even if everything else was automated to the best level. I think technology has moved in the right direction and we should be able to put together a complete open source assembly kit in a few weeks. I shall post links to order it.
  7. If you've done everything right, you still have to perfect your precision landing. Since wireless recharging pads typically are efficient in only about a 10sqcm area (thinking reasonable product availability and economics, not inventing something new), that makes for a tight landing zone. Very tight. Has to land almost perfectly in the center, every time in all conditions (mind the backwash). Otherwise, it just becomes discharged and dies unless you come to fix it manually!
Such 'unattended' solutions should be a game changer in the home security market (and even commercial security) given that they're truly unattended (wireless rechargeable batteries) and that the drone can takeoff and land by itself within centimeters, very very accurately. Given these two key innovations, yes, I think it'd rock the world!

I'm open if you wanna start contributing to the project!
 

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