Drone-RK is an open-source real-time distributed UAV development infrastructure from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Carnegie Mellon University.
This project focuses on the software infrastructure required for self-contained autonomous UAV application development. Drone-RK currently runs on the Parrot AR.Drone hardware platform. Drone-RK provides Resource Kernel (RK) extensions to the standard Linux kernel that provide real-time scheduling extensions such that tasks in the system can specify their resource demands such that the operating system can provide timely, guaranteed and controlled access to system resources (CPU, network, sensors and actuators). The Drone-RK development platform provides APIs for local sensing, control and processing as well as various demonstration applications. In order to support rich autonomous behaviors, the platform provides hooks to incorporate additional hardware components (GPS, digital compasses, ultrasonic ranging, etc).
I worked on the project during the summer and fall of 2011, as well as the fall of 2012. Now that our latest iteration of the hardware is complete, we're working to build out a series of experiments, including a multi-agent search and rescue effort using thermal sensors.