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Sumo drone guidance systems (Guide)


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And so I present several types of guidance systems for Nimbatus sumo drones! Also see my other guide for information about specific varieties of drone.
Simple guidance systems
Simple guidance systems are employed in more complicated designs, but can be perfectly practical on their own. If you're new to sumo drone design, start here.

  • Unguided
    The unguided system is easily explained. The drone simply uses a button to activate all it's thrusters to go forward. Naturally, this is only seen on rammers, and is very rarely successful. Most modern drones are easily capable of compensating for this sort of system.
    A simple unguided drone, as it would be seen on a rammer.

  • Directional guidance for steering
    Simple directional guidance uses a directional sensor, connected to the rotational thrusters of a craft. It usually suffices most drones, and can be used both offensively and defensively.
    A simple directional guidance system allows the drone to turn to find the center of the arena. It is less than idea for center seeker drones, and is much more at home in rammer or pusher drones.
  • Distance guidance for steering
    Simple distance guidance uses distance sensors to sense opposing craft, and turn towards them. It was very common during the Nimbatus demo, but has fallen out of favor to much simpler directional sensor systems, once they were available. They are also often prone to issues when used versus multi-drone classes, where mini drones could give false directions on the direction sensors.
  • Directional guidance for detection
    Despite being used for directional guidance, directional sensors can also perform the role of a distance sensor. The directional sensor can be set up in a way that it has a very large tolerance range, and that it outputs for only a small fraction of it's area. This can then be used to determine whether a target is in a key position, such as whether a sumo enemy is in front of them. This can be advantageous for many reasons. Directional guidance for detection also lacks any of the downfalls of distance guidance, and cannot be confused by multi-drone setups.
  • Distance guidance for detection
    Distance sensors are often employed on pusher drones to dictate whether a target is in front of it, and whether it should trigger it's thrusters to ram it. This system is mostly foolproof, but has some key issues. The distance sensor can be triggered by mini-drones if the opponent is a multi-drone, and also has a  very limited field of view, in a straight line only. As such, it has fallen out of favor to much more reliable directional guidance systems.

Specialist Guidance Systems

  • Micha-guidance
    Micha-guidance uses two directional sensors on each axis of the drone. The direction of the axis will dictate the direction to the drones target. Since it is omnidirectional, it works well for center seeker drones and spinners. Especially spinners, which rely on constantly changing direction, where conventional directional guidance systems would simply fail. It is named after Nimbatus developer Micha, who had used the guidance system in one of his own sumo drone challengers.
    A simple Micha-guidance center seeker drone. It can very happily move in any direction towards it's target, regardless of orientation.
  • Glider guidance
    Glider guidance uses the arena wall to help it skim along the arena edge. It uses a directional sensor to keep itself pointed towards the center, and a direction sensor to detect the arena edge, to then boost it away from it.
    A simple glider guidance system at work.

Think I forgot something? Want to contribute? Share your drone designs and guidance systems below!


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