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Original PX4 FLOW Optical Flow Sensor for FPV Telemetry
- PX4Flow is an optical flow smart camera. It has a native resolution of 752×480 pixels and calculates optical flow on a 4x binned and cropped area at 250 Hz (bright, outdoors), giving it a very high light sensitivy. Unlike many mouse sensors, it also works indoors and in low outdoor light conditions without the need for an illumination LED at 120 Hz (dark, indoors). It can be freely reprogrammed to do any other basic, efficient low-level computer vision task.
168 MHz Cortex M4F CPU (128 + 64 KB RAM) 752×480 MT9V034 image sensor, L3GD20 3D Gyro 16 mm M12 lens (IR block filter) Source code will be available shortly, comes with planar flow for position hold programmed
-MT9V034 machine vision CMOS sensor with global shutter
-Optical flow processing at 4×4 binned image at 120 (indoor) to 250 Hz (outdoor)
-Superior light sensitivity with 24×24 μm super-pixels
-Onboard 16bit gyroscope up to 2000°/s and 780 Hz update rate, default high precision-mode at 500°/s
-Onboard sonar input and mount for Maxbotix sonar sensors. PX4 Flow comes with the sonar already mounted and installed. MB1043
-USB serial up to 921600 baud (including live camera view with QGroundControl)
-USB power option
Theory of Optical Flow Sensor
- Optic flow is a measure of how fast an image is moving by. This is measured by detecting changes in areas seen by a vision chip. By measuring how fast a dark or light spot progress across the chip, the rate at which the image is moving can be determined. By restricting measurement to one direction it is possible to decipher both the direction and rate at which the sensors surroundings are moving by. This information can then be used to determine altitude, the distance to an object, or if an object is in the sensors path.
- For a plane, the closer it is to the ground, the faster the ground will appear to be traveling by. In a commercial jet, the ground appears to move by slowly underneath, where as in a helicopter the ground seems to zoom by. If the velocity of the vehicle is known or kept constant, the rate at which the ground is moving by can be used to determine the altitude. The same principle applies for object avoidance.