View on GitHub

Welcome to Team Lunch

This is the Project Website for our ENEL583/ENEL389 Fourth Year Project at the Schulich School of Engineering.

Team Number 30
Project Name Autonomous UAV Terrain Avoidance System
Customer CDL Systems Ltd. (who have since been acquired by Lockheed Martin)

Team Members

About Our Project


Small UAVs are difficult to fly, easily damaged by collision, and expensive to repair.This presents a strong financial risk to potential buyers, and discourages widespread adoption. As UAVs move to urban and indoor environments, this risk is dramatically increased – both in likelihood of collision with environmental clutter, and potential damage to surrounding persons or property.

Our Project

To mitigate this risk, we will equip a small UAV with an autonomous collision detection and avoidance system. This system will allow unskilled operators to purchase and fly UAVs in close-quarters environments with minimal risk of damage to the UAV or surrounding property.

The prototype system will consist of two main components: a Parrot AR.Drone UAV, modified with autonomous collision avoidance software and supporting sensors; and an open-source Android-based ground station, modified to provide feedback to the operator about obstacles and near misses.

As this project is primarily software-focused, hardware will be purchased rather than built where possible. The UAV and sensors will be purchased outright, and an Android tablet will be used to host the modified open-source ground station.

Project Schedule & Deliverables

This project will be completed in an iterative manner, and its final scope will depend on technical obstacles and time constraints.

Phase One: Ground-Based Test Bench

In the first phase of our project, the UAV will establish communication with its onboard sensors, and relay basic data to a ground-based test bench. The UAV will be able to complete these tasks while flying, indicating completion of the hardware component of this project.

Deliverables A Brief Demonstration Video
Completed December 3rd, 2012

Phase Two: Autonomous Collision Avoidance

Upon completion of the second phase of our project, the UAV will autonomously ignore dangerous operator commands, and move away from approaching obstacles.

Deliverables Autopilot Source Code
Completed February 18th, 2013

Phase Three: Ground Station Enhancement

The third phase of our project focuses around enhancement of an Android-based ground station software suite. The ground station will be modified to provide non-intrusive feedback about automatically-avoided collisions and nearby obstacles.

Deliverables Autopilot & Ground Station Source Code, In-Person Demo
Completed March 26th, 2013

Our Progress

You can keep up to date with our project status and meeting minutes by following our team logbook, which is available to read from our GitHub Logbook repository. Our project design reports are also available for download below:

Design Report 1 Completed November 9th, 2012
Design Report 2 Completed December 3rd, 2012
Design Report 3 Completed January 30th, 2013
Design Report 4 Completed March 25th, 2013