Senior project Questions/Advice seeking

I am going to the Oregon Institute of Technology and am hoping to graduate next year, however to finish my Software Engineering Technology Bachelor’s degree I have to do a senior project. The idea I have proposed is to buy a qudricoptor Parrot AR.Drone:
and add a board to the existing flight platform. From there I would like to attach sensors to the aircraft for distance/object detection, I am still considering between sharps IR type sensor or possibly sonar. I want to program the drone to collect sensor data and fly around a room on it’s own and eventually map the walls of a room or building (indoor only at the moment) using only sensor data and calculations from collected data.

I looked at the link to the FEZ Ultimate Kit and thought that even though it is expensive, has some extra shields I probably won’t need, would this system to feasible to accomplish my goal? Is this the place to go to seek help, as I have never played any of the hardware systems, drone and FEZ, to get a bit of a hand. Can the board do all of this for me?

If I need to clarify any points please let me know, I have to get started on this thing in June and will have to complete it in one school year while working full time. The sooner I can get started the better!


Hi Postholes, welcome.

That project sounds interesting. Nice choice.

On what platform to choose, I would suggest you do NOT buy the Fez Ultimate kit. To me, as a layman and outside your project, it would seem that a lot of what you need will be based on memory. The Fez Panda II is a low memory device, so you would not be able to store a very big area cloud of readings. If this is true, I would suggest you look at something with more memory like the Fez Hydra or Cobra.

Thank you Brett!

I will be looking into the two boards you mentioned. I would like the board to connect to the wifi hotspot provided by the drone. Do you know off the top of your head if either of the FEZ boards you’ve suggested are capable of connecting to a wifi hotspot? If not is there a shield I can slap onto it as well?


Networking on Fez Ultimate / Panda II is also somewhat limited (you must rely on a Wiz5100 module for all IP related comms) so you must use a ethernet to wifi bridge (IIRC there’s one GHI offer).

The Hydra is more advanced in that it can use the full netmf IP stack(s), but IIRC there’s no Wifi module supported. In that case the Spider would be a better choice - in fact, any EMX based module would be beneficial.

Here’s the comparison page.