Questions regarding the VOXL m500
Dear ModalAI engineers,
I am working on a multi agent system that has to demonstrate autonomous cooperation. I found the VOXL m500 a very good candidate to be used in my first prototype. I still have some questions regarding the capabilities of the VOXL m500 drone.
- Is it possible to set up a mesh network with the communication modules provided by your company? By a mesh network I mean that each drone must be able to communicate with every other drone in the system. If not, what would be necessary to establish this?
- Is it possible to add more payload to the drone? For example, an additional Lidar sensor or camera.
- I am currently simulating my solution using software-in-the-loop with Ardupilot, MAVLink, and QGroundControl, will it take a lot of time to convert the code to be compatible with the VOXL flight deck?
- Can the VOXL flight companion computer provide enough computational power to perform advanced decision making as well as image recognition and SLAM?
Thank you in advance.
@Remco-Roelofs Thanks for the great questions! In the future it would be great if you could separate each question into it's own forum post to make it easier for others to benefit from the discussion. Regarding question #1, we support Microhard and Doodle Labs modems. Both of these claim to be able to run in a mesh network configuration but it isn't something we have ever tried. We have only used them as a point to point link. Regarding question #2, it is definitely possible to add new sensors to the drone. Some key considerations will be method of IO with the new sensor, weight, and power. Regarding question #3, we would need more detail on what you are trying to run on Voxl to be able to make any kind of an assessment. But our goal is for the m500 to be a great prototyping platform and we try to make it as easy as possible to develop new code for it. Regarding question #4, the Voxl is built around the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC which has very good performance metrics and was chosen specifically to run those types of algorithms.
@Eric-Katzfey Thank you very much for your fast reply! Regarding your first answer, which add-on would be necessary to establish mesh network configuration according to the manufacturers. As this is a key element to our prototype that there is no centralised unit doing the communication of data, we have to know for sure your drones are capable of establishing such mesh network.
@Remco-Roelofs You can find more information about our Microhard and Doodle Labs support here: https://docs.modalai.com/microhard-modems/ and here: https://www.modalai.com/collections/accessories/products/voxl-microhard-modem-usb-hub. I would urge you to work with Microhard and Doodle Labs directly to verify that their products can do what you need.