3D Motion Capture of an Unmodified Drone with Single-chip Millimeter Wave Radar

Peijun Zhao, Chris Xiaoxuan Lu, Bing Wang, Niki Trigoni, Andrew Markham

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Accurate motion capture of aerial robots in 3D is a key enabler for autonomous operation in indoor environments such as warehouses or factories, as well as driving forward research in these areas. The most commonly used solutions at present are optical motion capture (e.g. VICON) and Ultrawideband (UWB), but these are costly and cumbersome to deploy, due to their requirement of multiple cameras/anchors spaced around the tracking area. They also require the drone to be modified to carry an active or passive marker. In this work, we present an inexpensive system that can be rapidly installed, based on single-chip millimeter wave (mmWave) radar. Importantly, the drone does not need to be modified or equipped with any markers, as we exploit the Doppler signals from the rotating propellers. Furthermore, 3D tracking is possible from a single point, greatly simplifying deployment. We develop a novel deep neural network and demonstrate decimeter level 3D tracking at 10Hz, achieving better performance than classical baselines. Our hope is that this low-cost system will act to catalyse inexpensive drone research and increased autonomy.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2021 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2021
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages13769-13775
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781728190778
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes
Event2021 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2021 - Xi'an, China
Duration: 30 May 20215 Jun 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
Volume2021-May
ISSN (Print)1050-4729

Conference

Conference2021 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2021
Country/TerritoryChina
CityXi'an
Period30/05/215/06/21

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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