Parrot Dev Kit Helps Bring Autonomous Operation to Aerial Drones

Parrot, a Paris based manufacturer of aerial drones and other wireless technology, today announced the impending release of a new development kit designed to aid in the construction of autonomous aerial drones, among other things.

Using the developer kit, which has been named Parrot S.L.A.M.dunk, developers are able to prototype solutions for use in autonomous flight, 3D mapping, or data collection via the onboard sensors. "Developed by robotic researchers for robotic researchers, Parrot S.L.A.M.dunk is a ‘ready-to-use’ module that will accelerate the development of tomorrow’s application for drones and robotic platforms," the company stated in a press release.

In addition to S.L.A.M.dunk, Parrot also offers SDKs which allow developers to programmatically interact with the company's drones. Via the SDKs users are able to "connect, pilot, receive stream, save and download medias (photo and video), send and play autopilot flight plans and update your drone." The SDKs support Objective C for iOS and Java for Android but there is guidance for building SDKs for other languages if you want to build your own.

S.L.A.M.dunk was announced at the Interdrone conference in Las Vegas, features an Nvidia Tegra K1 processor and runs on Ubuntu 14.04 and ROS (Robot Operating System). The kit may not include a drone (it is designed as an auxilliary component) but it certainly does not lack in features, some of which include:

  • Fish-eye stereo camera with a 1500×1500 resolution at 60fps
  • Inertial-measurement unit (IMU)
  • Ultrasound sensor
  • Magnetometer
  • Barometer

The price for Parrot S.L.A.M.dunk has not yet been announced and it is expected to be released later this year. 

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