710.099 Camera drones (3 VU, WS)

Gain hands-on experience with camera drones and learn the theoretical background.


Important information for WS 2020

All the lectures will be online. The first lecture will happen as a streaming event, further lectures will be pre-recorded videos which can be accessed at any time. There will be Q&A sessions as live stream for direct interaction. The quiz will also be held as an online examination. To get access information to the online lectures students need to be registered. The information can then be found in the Teach Center.

The practical is mostly organized as programming assignments which can be carried out from home. You will have to implement components which can be individually tested and in the end integrated into the flying system. The practical is organized as group work in groups of 2. This is important such that you do have the possibility to discuss the topics of the practical with a peer. The final integration into the flying system will be carried out in the drone space by each group individually.

Course description

The course will feature lectures and a project part. Lectures will cover the topics from quadrotor control to computer vision. The project part consists of carrying out a robotics project with drones in our droneSpace. The project work contains a programming task using ROS (robot operation system) and C++. At the end of the course students have to take a  questionnaire about the lectures.

Lecture topics

  • Quadrotor Basics
  • Control and Sensors
  • 3D Data Generation
  • Visual Odometry
  • Flight Planning for 3D Modeling
  • Regulations for Camera Drones
  • ROS Tutorial

Practical part

The practical part this year is organized as a group work of groups of 2. Each group will work on the same tasks.The final goal of the practical is to program a drone to fly through the droneSpace while avoiding and obstacle. The project is divided into several tasks, consisting of an environment mapping task, a path planning tasks and an trajectory generation task. Each group has to demonstrate its solution in a flying demo and present it in a final presentation.


The course grade will be based on the grades for the project work, project presentation and a questionnaire.

Times and dates:

  • First lecture will be on 7.10.2020 14:15-15:45 as a virtual lecture using Webex.
  • Course quizz will be on 13.1.2021  at the usual lecture times (calculator needed).


Lecture slides: 

(slides will gradually appear here)

  • Lecture - Camera drones overview (PDF)
  • Lecture - Flightmechanics (PDF)
  • Lecture - Sensors (PDF)
  • Lecture - 3D Data generation (PDF)

Lecture slides 2019: 

  • Lecture 1 - Camera drones overview (PDF)
  • Lecture 2 - Flight mechanics, Control and Sensors (PDF)
  • Lecture 3 - 3D Data generation (PDF) (updated 20.11.2019)
  • Lecture 4 - Flight planning (PDF)
  • Lecture 5 - Regulations for camera drones in Austria (PDF)

Material from last years courses:

Check out the droneSpace course for the student projects created last year in this course.


  • Course page updated on 16.9.2020