Designing a drone and a path planning algorithm

CopterHack-2021, team: Blue Jay Eindhoven.


We at Blue Jay Eindhoven are a student team of the Eindhoven University of Technology. We are doing research on drones that fly indoors, are interactive, autonomous, safe and helpful.

We are participating in the Copterhack 2021, because COEX has a lot of knowledge about making a drone. With the help of COEX's expertise, we would be able to develop our drone further. However, the project with which we started the Copterhack turned out to be not that successful. We therefore also didn't get to have a more in depth discussion with COEX. The fact that we are not an open source company, added to this. We couldn't just share everything and when that one project failed, we first had to look at what we are going to share next. Because of these events, the collaboration part hasn't really lifted off.

The information that you are going to find in this project summary is therefore not that specific developed for the Clover drone. It can however certainly be used to customize the Clover drone. In addition, it can also give a first overview for beginners on how to design a path planning algorithm and how the design process of a drone looks like.

We are still planning on doing some research on the Clover drone itself. This will mainly be on the stability and movability of the our drone. But we are going to start with investigating it on the Clover drone. So there might be a nice further collaboration on this. In addition, we are also trying to implement the codes for the Clover drone onto our drones. By doing this, we will also be able to provide some feedback on it and develop it further.

Now we will give you a short summary of our results on the Path Planning Algorithm and the Hardware Research that we have done. For the full reports, you can go to this google drive:

Path Planning Algorithm

It is investigated what the most optimal path planning algorithm is for the Clover drone. This is done since it was noted that this is not done in the base version of the drone. The path planning algorithm makes it possible that the drone flies autonomous in a much better way than without the algorithm.

In the documentation, we have set up a plan to put this path planning algorithm to work on your drone. This is a low level algorithm, so everyone should be able to implement it. The algorithm does however need some sort of map from which it can get information on the possible paths. So that part, you still have to implement yourselves.

Hardware Research

The report describes the internship project carried out at Blue Jay. As we focus on indoor drone application, we wishes to minimize the produced noise to improve user experiences. On the other hand, we also wish to improve the flying efficiency for benefiting flying time. As result, the project is about making the drone more efficient with less noise emitted during the operation. For producing design to approach the problem, design methodology has been applied. In the end the ducted fan design has been chosen through studied theory and experimenting. However, there are two additional requirements, an increase in amounts of sensors and an increase in propeller numbers to increase safety. These additional requirements result the drone has less flying time due to the increase in weight. However, the selected design still improved the efficiency of selected propeller.

This hardware part is more of a general research that can be applied to all drones, including the Clover drone. If a group of high school or university students would like to do their own research on the Clover drone, they can use the research for ideas. They can for instance perform a project in which they design their own 3D printed ducted fans to use on the Clover drone. The research in the report would then be a good first read on how to design such a thing and what the performance results could be.

In addition, the kind of propellers that are used on the Clover drone can also be adjusted. Maybe a group wants get a little smaller or larger propellers or even a different shape. The research done can then also help as a guide to decide what kind would be best for that specific use with respect to size and shape.

It is also useful when one wants to use the code that the Clover drone uses, but also wants to develop their own drone. The hardware research can then be used as a guide on how you can do this. It states all kind of factors that should be taken into account and in what way you can do this.

Full Project Information

To see what our project at Blue Jay is all about, you can watch the following video of our interim event: We state our user case, explain what we have achieved so far and what the plans are for the future.

If you have questions or ideas, feel free to ask! You can contact us at

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