Miniature Vision Sensors for UAVs

Program Code: 
Description of Work: 


The objective of the proposed thesis is to investigate and develop a small embedded vision sensor for control of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). The work will leverage the unique parallel processing architecture of Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA) to develop a novel, small, low-power unit for determining optic flow and stereo range. This work will build on preliminary work demonstrated at UNSW Canberra that shows that it is possible to compute optic flow using FPGA.

Description of Work:

  • Determination of the most efficient algorithm for processing of optic flow and stereo, taking in to account the parallelisation possible with an FPGA. This stage will be progressed in MATLAB. Initial work will focus on use of the optic flow interpolation algorithm. Later work will look at alternative and more elaborate algorithms for calculating image motion.
  • implementation of algorithms in embedded hardware. This step will make use of existing hardware at UNSW Canberra initially, but may involve design of new circuits to support high performance FPGA chips.

Once the algorithms are proven on a real-UAV, work will progress towards use of the optic flow information in a feedback loop to control the trajectory of one of the UNSW Canberra UAV platforms.