Robot vehicle platforms, often called “drones”, offer exciting opportunities for mobile computing applications, as they allow computer systems to actively control the device location for a more efficient and precise interaction with the physical world. While larger drones may weigh more than 1 kg and require a certified operator, nano-drones weigh only tens of grams, are sold as toys, and can be flown by everyone. An example of nano-drone is the Crazyflie, which is open source, weighs ≈ 25 grams only, and has quickly gained popularity in the last years.
We have recently equipped the Crazyflie with an ultra-wideband (UWB) shield on top based on the MDEK 1001, similar to the Loco Positioning system by
bitcraze. Such shield allows the Crazyflie to communicate with surrounding UWB devices and obtain accurate distance information. Our goal is to accurately navigate a swarm of Crazyflies through the hallways of our institute, possibly by incorporating UWB-based algorithms and protocols designed in our group, such as SnapLoc. To this end, we have deployed a testbed with more than 50 UWB devices across a hallway as well as a drone cage that can be used to experiment with the Crazyflie.