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Modelling Tips and Tricks for the MathWorks Minidrone Competition


If you’re thinking about entering one of the MathWorks Minidrone competitions, then come along to this webinar and learn some tips and tricks on developing your model.  If you want to accelerate your understanding of what the “starting point” model is, and what you’ll need to do to it, then this webinar is for you.

We’ll begin by taking a deep dive into the starting point that ALL students have access to – the Parrot minidrone Simulink project. Specifically, we’ll look into the following:

  • How do you launch the Simulink project?
  • What are the key subsystem components of the starting point Simulink model? E.g. the nonlinear 6-dof plant, the Flight Control system, the state estimation system
  • What are the data buses you’ll need to be familiar with and how do you use them?

We’ll then experiment with the position and orientation response of the starting point model:

  • How do you make the drone lift off and hover?
  • How do make the drone fly to way point?
  • How do you make the drone “point” in a desired heading direction?

After covering these fundamentals we’ll then look at some of the generic tasks and problems that you’ll need to think about when you develop your own control strategy.  Specifically, we’ll look at:

  • First steps towards perception – detecting blobs and lines using image processing
  • First steps towards mission control – incorporating Finite State Machines
  • Useful Simulink modelling patterns
  • Bus objects for Stateflow and MATLAB Function blocks

We’ll finish the webinar with a reminder of the resources that ALL teams entering the competition have access to and we’ll close out with a live  Q/A session at the very end – all questions welcomed.  

About the Presenter

Bradley Horton is a member of the Academic Customer Success team at MathWorks, helping faculty members better utilize MATLAB and Simulink for education and research. Bradley has supported and consulted for clients on projects in process control engineering, power systems simulation, military operations research, and earthquake impact modelling. Before joining MathWorks, Brad spent 5 years as a systems engineer with the Defense Science & Technology Organization (DSTO) working as an operations research analyst. Bradley holds a B.Eng. in Mechanical engineering and a B.Sc. in Applied mathematics.

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Modelling Tips and Tricks for the MathWorks Minidrone Competition

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