Autonomous Kite 002 Video clip

On September the 13th, 2016 we managed to carry out the first successful autonomous flight - Check out the video link above.

The system consists of a kite, a motorized kite steering system, a laptop for control and a smartphone for video tracking. Image of AK002 Setup

Significant mechanical parts:

Image of AK002 Drive Assembly Write me if you want to get some of the Fusion 360 CAD files.

Significant electronics parts:

We also used a Macbook Air and an iPhone 6, but really any laptop and a reasonably powerful smartphone would do.

Data flow

The camera observes the position of the kite and estimates the coordinate that best the describes the current position of the kite. This data is sent over Websocket connection over WIFI to the laptop. In a browser windows the tracking data can be observed in realtime and the kite position can be extrapolated in case of shorter tracking problems. The required control input is calculated and send off the ESP8266 microcontroller (also through a websocket over WIFI). From here the information goes to the Arduino which is solely responsible for controlling the step timing of the stepper motor. See the information flow diagram below

Image of the AK002 dataflow

Source code and more can be found under the specific projects