I have a blog.

As the title aptly implies, I have a blog!

In my 28 years on this planet I’ve never owned a diary, in fact I’ve never really been much good at maintaining information on what I get up to, what I learn or anything else for that matter. Being that I’m currently a full-time student this is a bit of an issue, I tend to learn something, pass the exam, then promptly forget everything about it.

Based on that unfortunate sequence of events, I thought it’d be a good idea to start writing some of this stuff down, and if I put it out on the WWW, perhaps someone else can benefit from it as well(?). As I move into the final year of my Computer Science degree at Brunel, I thought it would be a good idea to start documenting my learnings, more specifically, the progress of my final year project (FYP).

Oh yes, the FYP – the big one, the widowmaker, the year I will spend in an energy drink induced coma/stupor. Any and all 3am blog posts that are in ALL CAPS talking about how my FYP could revolutionise how we understand time and space may well be unfounded, but probably sounding absolutely plausible in my mind at the time of writing.

So…the FYP, what am I doing? In short, I will be attempting to program a UAV/drone (the fantastic Parrot AR 2.0 drone) to perform surveying functions on large, man-made physical structures such as chimneys, bridges, buildings etc. Through this I will be hoping to explore:

  • Edge/point of interest detection algorithms (through the inbuilt camera on the drone).
  • Autonomous reactions to visual cues, for example to enable the drone to fix on a particular point of interest and perform a number of required tasks.
  • Linking to local/web databases (either NOSQL or MySQL) for storage and later analysis of findings from flights.
  • 3-D modelling of points of interest for analysis.
  • Potential creation of pointclouds (structure through motion technology) and/or Lidar technology in representing points of interest as models that can be interrogated/analysed later.

I may not get all of the above done, some of these will undoubtably change and things will no doubt be added to the above list. At the moment it’s more of a rough outline, the reality of all this comes in September when my final year at Brunel kicks off.

In a nutshell, this blog will be here for me to bang on about things that I find interesting, challenging or otherwise (hopefully) useful to anyone who would like to try something similar. As this drone stuff is yet to mature into something as widely documented as programming Finch robots (very much recommend playing with these, will in time add some work on these on here as well!), hopefully this adds a little more to the resource pool out there.

It’s all a bit of an experiment at the moment so any and all feedback on anything whatsoever to do with this is always welcome!

So, that was that, the maiden voyage of my internet-based warblings. It may not change the world and I may not have much of an audience, but I have a platform (pedestal) on which to feel very, very important. Because, well… I have a blog.

Thanks for reading, Mark.

Originally Posted on August 10, 2015 Categories: Brunel FYP


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I joined WordPress during my final year studies in Computer Science at Brunel University, back in 2015. When I realised it took me 100 Google searches to just about figure out something technical, I figured that it'd probably be best that I write it down! The hope is that by doing this someone else can benefit from instead of potentially doing another 100 searches! Nowadays my general motto is, if it took me more than 2 hours to figure out, I'll see if I can write something that can be understood in 30 minutes or less (by anyone with an interest in programming) to solve the same issue. Please feel free to comment or message me if you have any questions, queries or general feedback to help me provide the clearest and most accessible information possible. Thanks, Mark

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