Progress on the flying WiFi router drone

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In the month since last posting about my final year project, lots has happened - like Christmas, but I have made some progress on various aspects of this project. Just to recap, the aim is to have an autonomous drone that works as a WiFi router and positions itself to give the best signal to the users.

The drone is almost at a stage where it could fly, there just needs to be power to the Pi and it should all work...

An autonomous drone, based on a DJI 450 frame, Raspberry Pi and Multiwii flight controller
An autonomous drone, based on a DJI 450 frame, Raspberry Pi & Multiwii flight controller

Behind the scenes I've been working on the report, which is the main assessment for this project, as well as working on a simulation of how the drone will work. I will detail this more in the next post, but the idea will be that it will show how the drone will think and act in various situations depending on where the user is beneath. It still needs some work.

Autonomous drone simulation using three.js
Drone simulation using three.js to show how the autonomy will work

There have been a few issues so far...

  • Not many people have done this before, which means there aren't too many StackOverflow answers or common-practices
  • I love flying drones but I've never built one before, so there is a fair learning curve to them
  • It was easy to set up the Raspberry Pi as an access point, but to triangulate the users below the drone I need to get a rough idea of the signal level from the connected devices, possibly using RSSI, however this is difficult to find out