Product Theia 📡

Product Theia 📡

https://twitter.com/theia_project/status/1332097454402011137

Hey, I’m Ben and I’ve been working away on a passion project, codenamed Project Theia, to introduce an affordable feature-rich radar capability to robotic platforms i.e UAV, UGV, USV.

Project inception kicked off after we experienced worse than normal bushfires here in Australia. I noted a lot of autonomous vehicles were deployed to aid the firies but unable to pass walls of smoke in fear of impacting solid objects. Radar can penetrate these barriers and enable operators to safely traverse landscapes during poor visibility conditions fog, smoke, rain, cloud cover and low light environments.

I trawled the market for existing solutions and found prices in the thousands of dollars, so opted to construct my own.

For the past few months, I’ve refined the technology and I’m now ready to start growing an online presence to bring the project to a greater audience. I’m committed to a completely open-source and open-hardware implementation enabling anyone to build, modify, and contribute to the design. I’m still some ways off releasing everything, targeting the first quarter of 2021.

Key Milestones

  • Open-Source, Open-Hardware, Open-Robotics.
  • Cost MUST be under A$1000, targeting A$600.
  • Downrange illumination of 500-1000 metres; dependent on radar frontend.
  • Pluggable radar frontend allowing the ability to target alternative spectrum i.e LiDAR, RADAR, SONAR.
  • Live RTSP stream of landscape obstacles for integration into ground control systems e.g QGroundControl.
  • Real-time radar scope with multiple object tracking and ranging capabilities.
  • MAVLink camera protocol support, most likely achieved via autopilot companion computer pulling the IP camera feed.

The current tech stack includes an Altera MAX 10 FPGA, subject to change, responsible for radar DSP and migrating the data via the DCMI interface of an STM32H7, which in turn exposes the stream over ethernet as per RFC 7826.

I’m regularly posting progress, warts and all, on Twitter @theia_project.

submitted by /u/ProjectTheia
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