Digital Engineering Projects: Swarm Lab


  • Christoph Steup
  • Sanaz Mostaghim

Time and location

  • Time: The first meeting will take place on October 19th 2016 at 17:00 (Note: If you are interested to take this project, you must attend this meeting in which we assign you in groups)
  • Location: G29 - 035

Usefull Skills

  • Programming Languages: C(++), Lua
  • Paparazzi UAV Framework: Overview
  • Control Theory: PID Controllers
  • Sensor and Signal Processing
  • Image processing


The course will be taken in groups of 3-4 Students per Topic. The  students and the groups will be chosen by us depending on your background. The individual topics are not fully fixed, extensions and modifications are possible depending on the skills and interest of participating students. This will be discussed in the first meeting. The result of each project is a working demonstration with commented source code and a written documentation indicating the general concept and a Howto to start the demo.

Available Topics:

Position Estimation

Currently, the position of each FINken is an unknown variable in the FINken's system. We already evaluated different approaches to find out this position and the the orientation of the copter. We tried wireless ranging methods and Kalman-Filters, but both methods did not provide a usable position estimation. For reference purposes we have a camera tracking system detecting the pose  oof each copter, but this system uses wireless  communication to transmit the data. Since the wireless  link is not reliable, this project aims to combine the existing sensor information to form a reliable pose  estimation within each copter. We envision an extended Kalman-Filter to fuse attitude, control  commands, wireless ranging data and camera tracking information to position and speed values in real-time on the copter.

Hardware Development for FINken Robots

While doing research in the swarmlab we evaluated serveral sensor-configurations and need to add lots of hardware to the "stock" version of the FINken 3 robots. To make this easier some we envision a generic sensor interface to be attached to the FINken. You will need to design at least one PCB containing a telemetry module (that should be able to do wireless ranging), a general purpose chip used to control the RGB-LEDs in the FINken robots and serveral connectors for many of the sensors that are used by the FINken robot. The goal is to provide a working hardware and software abstraction of usable sensors and actuators to provide a flexible dynamic equipment to the copters. Depending on the actual hardware additional processing facilities need to be included to the copters firmware. The amount of hardware to be integrated will be adapted to the background and amount of students.

Special topics are available on demand. If students have own ideas we will gladly try to provide appropriate topics.



Last Modification: 20.10.2016 - Contact Person:

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