Flying Swarm Projects


  • Christoph Steup


The course will be held in English.


All students of bachelor and master curriculums of the faculty are eligable to visit the course. The course can be taken as Digital Engineering Project, Inter-Disciplinary Project or Team-Project. The actual type of course depends on the needs of the students and the available Topics. It is mandatory for a participant to have background knowledge in at least one of the following topics:

  • Robotics
  • Programming in C/C++ or Python
  • Theorie and Algorithms of Swarm Intellligence
  • Communications and Networks
  • Development of Embedded Applications  in C
  • Robot Operating System (ROS)

First Meeting: 

The first meeting will be used to organize the project. We will describe the available tasks, the used system and group the interested students. The date of the Kickoff-Meeting is the 17 of  October at 13:00 in G29-035. If you want to participate, this meeting is mandatory.

There will be a second Kickoff-Meeting on 23.10.18 at 13:00 in G29-035. Students need to attend only one of the two KickOff Meetings.


The course will be taken in groups of 3-4 Students per topic. The  students and the groups will be chosen by us depending on your background. The individual topics are not fully fixed, extensions and modifications are possible depending on the skills and interest of participating students. This will be discussed in the first meeting. The result of each project is a working demonstration with commented source code and a written documentation indicating the general concept and a How to to start the demo.


The flying robots are described on the SwarmLab webpage. We use Paparazzi to control  the copters and ROS for pretty much everything else.

Alternatively, the rolling swarm platform is used for some Topics. They are also described on the SwarmLab webpage.

Available Topics:

3D Magnetic Mapping

The goal of this topic is to use the existing magnetometer sensors on-board the copter to create a 3D map of magnetic fields in a indoor environment. To this end, the usability of the sensors need to be tested. After the creation of the map, the map will either be used for localization or to compensate for the parasitic indoor magnetic fields to enable a reliable heading estimation of the copters.

Prototypical Port of the FINken to the ArduPilot Software Framework

Currently, the FINken uses the Paparazzi UAV software framework to enable  control  and autonomous behaviour. However, other software frameworks exists. The one with biggest community and support is the ArduPilot framework. In contrast to Paparazzi,  which focuses on stability and quality of control, the ArduPilot framework aims to  provide an easily extensible system, which may be beneficial for the future ddevelopment of the FINken. Therefore , we  like to evaluate the performance of our autonomous quadcopters with the ArduPilot firmware. To this end, our used autopilot boards need to be integrated into the ArduPilot software and the current configuration of software needs to be translated to the configurations used by ArduPilot.


Last Modification: 18.10.2018 - Contact Person:

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