Is your environment compatible with the use of Dragonfly?
Before starting the mapping process you need to make sure that your environment meets the requirements to be compatible with the use of Dragonfly. You can find those requirements inside this page.
What is a map?
A map is the virtual representation of what has been seen by Dragonfly through the camera connected. It corresponds to a file that stores all the information describing a visual environment and enables the tracking of the positions of a camera in this environment.
The map file is created by Dragonfly during the mapping phase and it is not human readable nor readable by any other software than Dragonfly. A map file contains:
- the features related to the objects and shapes detected in your environment;
- the WGS84 position of the visual/virtual markers (once the geo-referencing process has been performed).
How to do a the mapping
Step 1 – Choose the equipment for the mapping
As a rule of thumb strongly suggest to perform the mapping process with the camera mounted on the same moving asset that you will have to track in production. So, if for example the asset that that you will have to track is a forklift with the camera mounted on the roof and pointed towards the ceiling, then we strongly suggest you to perform the mapping with the exact same configuration (regardless from the fact that the wiring or the fine tuning that will have to be done to equip the production forklift fleet.). Anyway there are situation in which the moving asset might be cumbersome or you don’t have the license to drive it. In these cases you can also perform the mapping with the camera attached firmly to an extendable stick that is attached in turn to a trolley with wheels (on which you can carry around a laptop with the Dragonfly App running. Doing so:
- the extendable stick will allow you to set the camera at the same altitude at which the camera will be used in production.
- the small size of the trolley will allow you move freely inside the environment and perform the loop closures described in the next part of this page.
Step 2 – Initialize the mapping
Once Dragonfly is configured properly you can initialize the mapping and then create a map of your environment. During this process the Dragonfly Web User Interface will:
- visualize the position of your camera as a drone moving inside a 3D space;
- provide the position of your camera as un-dimensioned raw coordinates;
Follow these steps to initialize the mapping:
- Clean the camera glass by wiping it first with a damp cloth and then with a dry cloth.
- Move with the device to a location on the perimeter of the venue.
- Select the Configuration tab inside the Dragonfly Web User Interface.
- Inside the configuration tab configure the Calibration method to be ”No markers used (direct view only, no WGS84 coordinates possible)”.
- Click on Save Config and Restart.
- Select the Maps tab and click on Reset Map.
- Select the View tab.
- DO NOT activate the NAVIGATION ONLY checkbox!
- Press on the GREEN PLAY button to start the positioning. The video preview window should be displayed. You can drag and drop the corner to modify the size of the video preview.
- If you get an error message about the video stream not available, please check the pages “Configure Dragonfly > Connect the camera” available in the left sidebar.
- If you get the error “NOT authenticated” please check this page.
- Move your camera with a translation movement (not a rotation movement!) towards a chosen direction to start detecting the features associated to the shapes and objects in your environment. By now the status shown to the right of the GREEN PLAY button should switch from MAP INIT to NAVIGATION.
Inside the Dragonfly Web User Interface you will see:
- a 3D space where:
- the flying drone represents your camera.
- the RED thread represents the path followed with the camera.
- the video preview on the right that shows what is seen by the camera where:
- the BLUE dots represent the features associated to objects/shapes detected in your environment.
You can use:
- your mouse to zoom and rotate the 3D space.
- the Show 3D map checkbox to visualize/hide the features associated to the objects and shapes detected in your environment.
Information shown inside the Dragonfly Web User Interface
On the left side of the screen there are these info:
- Map – name of the current map (if already saved).
- FPS – provides an indication about the speed at which the system runs (it must be higher than 20 FPS to produce good results).
- Map Points – number of features associated to objects/shapes detected in your environment and part of the current map.
On the bottom right side of the screen there are these info:
- Vertical, Lateral Horizontal – these are the un-dimensioned raw coordinates.
- Pitch, Yaw and roll – orientation of the device (more info inside this page).
Step 3 – Perform the mapping
Example of a well done mapping process on a cleaning machine inside a supermarket
Step 3.1 – Map the perimeter
The first thing to do during the initial mapping phase is to move with the camera along the perimeter of the area of interest and close 1 loop. To do so:
- Initialize the positioning process following the previous section.
- From a chosen starting point, move with the camera along the whole perimeter of the area you would like to map and then move back to the starting point. During this process, if the status shown to the right of the GREEN PLAY button switches from NAVIGATION to LOST you have to move back to the area already mapped until the status switches back to NAVIGATION and then you can keep following the process outlined.
- At the end of this process you have closed your first loop and corrected the drift of the map! By now:
- The video preview will show “LOOP CLOSURES: 1”
- The left side of the screen will show “CORRECTIONS: 1”.
- Click on the Maps tab and Create a new map. You can save it with a name like: “warehouse1_loop1”.
- Go back to the View tab.
During this process the RED thread inside the 3D space should follow the path followed by the camera.
Drift of the position
Depending on the size of the venue during this initial mapping (when the environment is completely unknown to Dragonfly), you might notice a drift between:
- the position computed by Dragonfly (displayed as a flying drone inside the 3D space).
- the real position of your camera.
This is a normal behavior and the drift is auto-corrected after the the first loop closure. If the drift is not corrected and you experience inaccurate position, please send us the information listed inside this page.
Step 3.2 – Map the internal areas
After having mapped the perimeter of the area of interest you can map the entire environment, closing additional loops, by following these steps:
- From a chosen starting point along the perimeter, move with the Dragonfly camera towards an un-mapped area and then move back to the starting point. You have closed your second loop and corrected the drift of the map!
- The video preview will show “LOOP CLOSURES: 2”.
- The left side of the screen will show “CORRECTIONS: 2”.
- Click on the Maps tab, click on New Map and save the progresses done. You can save it with a name like: “warehouse1_loop2”. Do not update the current map! Save a NEW map!
- Once you are back at the starting point, explore another un-mapped area following a new path, and then move back again to the starting point. You have closed your third loop and corrected the drift of the map!
- The video preview will show “LOOP CLOSURES: 3”.
- The left side of the screen will show “CORRECTIONS: 3”.
- Click on the Maps tab, click on New Map save the progresses done in the widget “Create a new map”. You can save it with a name like: “warehouse1_loop3”. Do not update the current map! Save a NEW map!
Keep following the process just described until the whole environment has been mapped.
Save the progresses with NEW maps
During the mapping process we encourage you to save the progresses done by creating NEW maps that contain all the progresses done. Doing so you can go back to a previously saved map in case of problems during the mapping process. If you have any problem during the mapping process please send us the information listed inside this page.
During this process the RED thread inside the 3D space should follow the path followed by the camera. Once the whole environment has been mapped you can move freely inside it and Dragonfly will display your position without getting LOST.
Variable lighting conditions
If Dragonfly will have to be used inside venues with variable lighting conditions then the mapping will have to be done in various lighting conditions. This means that a map during daylight will have to be extended with the features collected during an additional mapping session done during the night. The instructions about this can be found inside this page.
Please send us the information listed inside this page.