Blender as a Mission Preparation Tool for Drones

Benoit Bolsee, Dalai Felinto

Saturday 25 October Theater 30

This talk presents a Blender add-on developed by ACT Lighting Design to create, visualize, verify and produce the flying paths and the lighting choreography of a collection of Drones in a real environment. The output of the add-on is an XML show file that is loaded and executed automatically by the drones. As many as 50 drones can fly together. This has been demonstrated as a world first at Puy du Fou, France.

The design part of the add-on is based on the well known Motion Trail add-on but with many enhancements. Blender fcurve algorithm was modified to produce path without acceleration discontinuity. Many hooks were added in Blender to improve the interactivity with the add-on.

Console-like tools were developed for the programming of the lights carried by the drones. An escape mechanism based on alternate paths has been designed to allow Drones having technical problems to leave the show in security.

The visualization part includes the animation of the Drones and lights, syncing with external LTC clock, displaying the collision cage, scenery, fly zone and security volumes around fixed obstacles.

The verification part includes the detection of collision between drones and with environment, excessive velocity or acceleration, fly over restrictions and fly zone restrictions.