PX4 Object tracking

Hi, newbie here,
I’m approaching the world of drones, and I was trying to assemble or buy a programmable drone that will allow me, for example, to track a small color ball (flying from above, camera pointed downwards, at 15-20m altitude).

  • Which PX4 drones can allow me to do this with a limited budget?
  • Are there non-PX4 drones where I can accomplish the same? (ANAFI Ai probably will be able to do that, when will be available)
  • If I want to assemble a drone, with a Companion Computer, to experiment with some ML and CV algorithms, do you suggest developing on an Nvidia Jetson, or some similar boards? (I’ve seen some simpler OpenMV boards and a Sony ML board too…)

Thank you in advance

Hey there.
The thing is that object tracking would be a complete different task than what PX4 provides atm.
I mean it should in theory be possible to have an AI (which would do the tracking) send position/ velocity commands to a PX4 to control the craft but all that PX4 would be doing in that scenario is executing external setpoint commands.
Doesn’t really matter if they’re coming from an RC controller, a groundstation or something entirely different like an AI.

Hope that helps getting an overview.

yes, that was the idea.
The messages to PX4 should be from onboard Companion Computer, I think, as AI will work better on onboard images (not so much on groundstation).

Which can be basic frames to start this approach? I’m seeing a lot of FPV cheap frames, in this case would be better a frame that allows me downward images… and to support a Companion Computer, probably they will need some more power.

Would be nice to have a suggestion, just not to start from a wrong frame/drone.

So the frame should match your payload which will describe the power needed (battery) which will in turn set a framework for what kind of drivetrain you will want.
Meaning the combination of motors/ ESCs, propellers and battery.
This is where I would start and regarding the cheapo FPV frames, it depends… If you get real carbon fiber the huge advantage will be its robustness, you won’t break it easily.
Larger designs have usually more weak points like gimbals, collapsable arms or similar.