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Face Detection Using Parrot FPV Drones

This example shows how to use a Parrot® drone to automatically detect human faces captured by the drone's FPV camera.


Use the MATLAB® Support Package for Parrot® Drones to control the drone and capture images from the FPV camera. A cascade object detector uses the Viola-Jones detection algorithm and a trained classification model for face detection. By default, the detector is configured to detect faces, but it can be used to detect other types of objects.

Required MathWorks Products


  • MATLAB® Support Package for Parrot® Drones

  • Computer Vision Toolbox™


Complete Getting Started with MATLAB Support Package for Parrot Drones.

Required Hardware

To run this example you need:

  • A fully charged Parrot FPV drone

  • A computer with a Wi-Fi® connection

Task 1 - Create a Connection to the Parrot Drone

Create a parrot object.

parrotObj = parrot;

Task 2 - Create a Cascade Object Detector Instance

Create an instance of the cascade object detector to detect faces using the Viola-Jones algorithm.

detector = vision.CascadeObjectDetector;

Task 3 - Activate FPV Camera

Start the drone flight to activate the FPV camera. Move the drone up to sufficient height to capture faces.


Task 4 - Create a Connection to the Drone's FPV Camera

Use the parrot object from Task 1 to create the connection to the drone's FPV camera.

camObj = camera(parrotObj,'FPV');

Task 5 - Detect Faces While Traversing a Square Path

Detect faces while the drone moves forward for 2 seconds along the edge of a square path.

1 Move the drone forward for the default duration of 0.5 seconds for each forward step, ensuring a nonblocking behavior. This enables the drone to capture the image and detect faces while in motion.

2 Capture a single frame from the drone's FPV camera.

3 Input the image to the detector, which returns bounding boxes containing the detected objects. The detector performs multiscale object detection on the input image.

4 Display the image with bounding boxes around faces and the title displaying the number of faces detected.

5 Turn the drone by pi/2 radians at each square vertex.

tOuter= tic;
while(toc(tOuter)<=30 && parrotObj.BatteryLevel>20)
   tInner = tic;
   % Keep moving the drone for 2 seconds along each square path edge
       moveforward(parrotObj);                                                       % Move the drone forward for default time of 0.5 seconds (nonblocking behaviour)
       picture = snapshot(camObj);                                                   % Capture image from drone's FPV camera
       bbox = detector(picture);                                                     % Detect faces in image
       videoOut = insertShape(picture,'Rectangle',bbox,'Color','r','LineWidth',3);   % Insert bounding box into image
       imshow(picture);                                                              % Show the picture
       title(sprintf(' %d face(s) detected ',size(bbox,1)));
   turn(parrotObj,deg2rad(90));                                                      % Turn the drone by pi/2 radians

6 Execute steps 1-5 for 30 seconds.

This example shows two faces detected by the drone's FPV camera.

Task 6 - Land the Drone

Land the drone.


Task 7 - Clean Up

When finished clear the connection to the Parrot drone and the FPV camera.

clear parrotObj;
clear camObj;