Progress and thus blog updates have been delayed by the weather: too windy last week; this week, too hot and sunny. When the sun is high, the camera can’t resolve sufficient contrast between the clover flowers and the grass in the mown lawn Because sunrise is 5am, that means I can only do test flights in the evening. It also means that in coming to this conclusion, I’ve broken 5 props so far. Very frustrated and expensive.
As a result, I’m still to really confirm that autopilot process is working well, and Sweep still lies on my office table.
On the slight plus side, I’ve enhanced the GPS data stream to the main process; I suspect I was throwing too much away by using first ‘string’ and then ‘float’ to pack the data. I’ve just upped it to a ’64bit float’. Iff this works as I hope, that may be all that’s necessary to track “where am I?” in accurate GPS units only, using Sweep + compass just to spot orientation of current paths / hedges in the maze. allowing the autopilot to choose “which way now?”. Any mapping for “have I been here before?” can be added as an enhancement; initially it will be a random choice of the various path directions available regardless of whether they’ve been visited already. But this is all a long way in the future.
A little later after writing the above, a speckled shade from a large tree was cast over part of the back garden and I managed to collect this GPS plot of a supposed 5m flight NE over the course of a 20s i.e. 20 GPS samples:
She struggled with the video tracking and once she left the shade, chaos ensued, but I did get the GPS stats, which clearly shows a much higher resolution initially than I was getting before. So that’s good. Yet another prop snapped on the aborted flight as she headed towards the wall. So that’s prop number 6 or £110 in real terms – completely unaffordable.
The multiple breakages are again weather based: two weeks of no rain means once more the lawn is rock solid, and props clipping the ground on an aborted landing snap instead of embedding in soft soil.