Mathieu Bresciani is PX4’s multicopter maintainer. He is an expert in controls for drones, and can be found on GitHub at: https://github.com/bresch
Can you tell us the story of how you got into PX4? (example: university or research project, hobby project…)
I discovered PX4 when I started to work for a VTOL manufacturer back in 2017. After this exciting first experience, I wanted to be more involved in improving the core functionalities of PX4 so I joined the core Dev Team. In July 2018 I got the opportunity to join Auterion as a Flight Control Engineer and because of the open-source nature of PX4, the transition was flawless.
What company do you work for and what’s your “day role”?
Auterion AG, Flight Control Engineer specialized in guidance, navigation and control. My job includes the development of algorithms, simulations, implementation in PX4 and flight testing. I also spend quite some time inspecting the log files of a lot of people to help my colleagues and the community.
What are your favorites contributions to PX4 and on what are you currently working on?
- Airmode for multicopters: this drastically improved stability of drones during extreme maneuvers (e.g.: racing) and VTOL planes during transition;
- Jerk-limited trajectory generator: this is used to guide the multirotor drones to fly smooth missions. It is especially important for filming and cargo.
I am currently working on a hover thrust estimator for drones with variable payloads, and on making the Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) more robust.
What is your professional and educational background?
I did a Master in Robotics at EPFL, Switzerland. After that, I directly started to work with drones and PX4 (fixedwings, multicopters and VTOL planes).
What is your “area of expertise” within PX4?
General control-related topics: Fixed-wing and multicopter position/attitude controllers, control allocation (mixing) and estimation (sensor fusion).
What is the most unique thing you have done in drones/robotics?
I replaced all the internal components of a DJI Mavic 2 Pro with a flight controller running PX4.
What is your current favourite setup for development kit (hardware, software..)?
A PixRacer or a Pixhawk4 with PX4 and a Linux distribution to develop the firmware (I currently use Ubuntu).
What languages do you speak?
Where are you from and where did you grow up?
What’s your favorite book?
Aircraft Control and Simulation, Brian L. Stevens Frank L. Lewis Eric N. Johnson
What advice would you give to fellow drone developers who just joined the PX4 community?
Get a small quad kit (the Holybro QAV-250 is great), go through the user guide, join the PX4 Slack channel and the forum to get in touch with the other community members and if you want to contribute, start on a little project.