Presentation Title

Automated Drone Usage in Crime Scene Investigations

Start Date

November 2016

End Date

November 2016

Location

HUB 302-166

Type of Presentation

Poster

Abstract

Countless man-hours are spent by forensic photographers taking pictures of the ground and creating establishing shots of a crime scene. This work could be done more quickly and reliably by an autonomous drone. The use of an autonomous drone provides many advantages, it ensures that all ground in a specified area is recorded and avoids any disruption to the crime scene. An android application was written for the DJI Phantom 3 Standard with Android Studio incorporating DJI’s software developers kit (SDK) and Google Map’s application programming interface (API). Two SDK tutorials put out by DJI, “GSDemo” and “FPVDemo”, were instrumental in understanding their SDK as well as Google’s API. Furthermore a desktop application was written using Eclipse and Java Swing. Lastly, DJI’s drone flight simulator was helpful in testing flight commands. An android app was written to issue commands to the drone to systematically take photos of a crime scene. Once complete the user takes the drone’s SD card and uses the desktop application to stitch the photos together into one large aerial view. To initiate the android app at the ‘crime scene’ the user inputs 4 outside boundaries and specifies an altitude safe for the drone to fly at. The app takes those two inputs and breaks the crime scene down into a grid and then instructs the drone to fly over each cell, using waypoints, and photograph the ground directly below it. During this time the user has the ability to look through the drone's camera or stop it in case of unforeseen circumstances. Upon photographing every cell in the grid the drone will fly higher and take establishing shots of the crime scene from the four corners, this option can be disabled if problematic. Finally the user can take the SD card and run it through the desktop application, this will organize the photographs into one large composite view. Just as we had hoped we were able to autonomously issue flight commands to the drone and take pictures of a ‘crime scene’. Much of the individual functions we hoped to achieve such as autonomous flight had already been published by DJI, this project helped package many of those functions into user friendly application targeted at solving a specific problem. The design has changed slightly from the conception of the project to adapt to the real world and there are many refinements that could still be made, principally object detection and avoidance. Hopefully, this project can find actual use within police departments and help eliminate monotonous work required of a forensic photographer and potentially see use in other areas such as local mapping.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Nov 12th, 1:00 PM Nov 12th, 2:00 PM

Automated Drone Usage in Crime Scene Investigations

HUB 302-166

Countless man-hours are spent by forensic photographers taking pictures of the ground and creating establishing shots of a crime scene. This work could be done more quickly and reliably by an autonomous drone. The use of an autonomous drone provides many advantages, it ensures that all ground in a specified area is recorded and avoids any disruption to the crime scene. An android application was written for the DJI Phantom 3 Standard with Android Studio incorporating DJI’s software developers kit (SDK) and Google Map’s application programming interface (API). Two SDK tutorials put out by DJI, “GSDemo” and “FPVDemo”, were instrumental in understanding their SDK as well as Google’s API. Furthermore a desktop application was written using Eclipse and Java Swing. Lastly, DJI’s drone flight simulator was helpful in testing flight commands. An android app was written to issue commands to the drone to systematically take photos of a crime scene. Once complete the user takes the drone’s SD card and uses the desktop application to stitch the photos together into one large aerial view. To initiate the android app at the ‘crime scene’ the user inputs 4 outside boundaries and specifies an altitude safe for the drone to fly at. The app takes those two inputs and breaks the crime scene down into a grid and then instructs the drone to fly over each cell, using waypoints, and photograph the ground directly below it. During this time the user has the ability to look through the drone's camera or stop it in case of unforeseen circumstances. Upon photographing every cell in the grid the drone will fly higher and take establishing shots of the crime scene from the four corners, this option can be disabled if problematic. Finally the user can take the SD card and run it through the desktop application, this will organize the photographs into one large composite view. Just as we had hoped we were able to autonomously issue flight commands to the drone and take pictures of a ‘crime scene’. Much of the individual functions we hoped to achieve such as autonomous flight had already been published by DJI, this project helped package many of those functions into user friendly application targeted at solving a specific problem. The design has changed slightly from the conception of the project to adapt to the real world and there are many refinements that could still be made, principally object detection and avoidance. Hopefully, this project can find actual use within police departments and help eliminate monotonous work required of a forensic photographer and potentially see use in other areas such as local mapping.