In a crowdfunding twist, the European Space Agency is using AR Drone Pilots to improve its real life autopilot systems for spacecrafts. Amateur pilots just have to download the Agency’s Astro Drone App to begin.
The app comes with a printable landing dock that is used as an augmented reality marker, and the app’s flight simulator makes the environment appear like the international space station. Users are tasked with landing the spacecraft in a rapid and controlled manner. Low speed on final approach and correct orientation gets you bonus points.
The app documents techniques used by successful attempts by your AR Drone, and this data will be used to improve autopilot systems.
We’re not interested in the places people are flying in. We will not receive any raw video images or GPS measurements, only the abstract mathematical image features that the drone itself perceives for navigation, along with velocity readings.