How to run Cross-Compiled OpenCV project on AR Drone

If you have followed my last three posts, you should have:

  1. The Cross-Compiler ready.
  2. Cross-Compiled OpenCV libraries.
  3. Cross-Compiled OpenCV project.

USB Flash Drive with AR Drone

If your compiled libraries are too large to be stored in AR Drone’s internal memory, you will need to use a USB drive. Make sure that the USB drive is formatted with fat32 filesystem. I have heard that a lot of people have problems getting AR Drone to recognize the flash drive. I have gotten lucky in this regard, both my Kingston 16 GB and a Chinese No-Name 8 GB USB flash drives have worked flawlessly with AR Drone.

After you have plugged in the USB to the Drones USB port, wait for about 15-30 seconds for the Drone’s firmware to auto-mount the drive.

You can run the following simple command to see a list of file systems in a human readable format.

df -h

I get the following list:

Filesystem                Size      Used Available Use% Mounted on
ubi1:system              26.3M     14.1M     10.9M  56% /
tmp                      57.7M    688.0K     57.0M   1% /tmp
dev                      57.7M         0     57.7M   0% /dev
ubi0:factory              4.8M     76.0K      4.5M   2% /factory
ubi2:update              13.2M     28.0K     12.5M   0% /update
ubi2:data                53.5M      8.1M     42.7M  16% /data
/tmp/udev/dev/sda1        7.6G      1.8G      5.8G  23% /tmp/udev/dev/.mnt/sda1
/tmp/udev/dev/sda1        7.6G      1.8G      5.8G  23% /data/video/usb0

Notice the last line. It means that my 8 GB usb flash drive in mounted to /data/video/usb0. I can navigate to this directory and see the contents of my flash drive.

Configuring the Linker

You have your cross-compiled binary and the shared libraries on the USB. Now all you have to do is to configure the dynamic linker so that it can see the libraries on your flash drive. The dynamic linker loads and links the shared libraries from the path specified by the environment variable $LD_LIBRARY_PATH. So we just need to add the path to lib folder in our flash drive to $LD_LIBRARY_PATH.

export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/data/video/usb0/lib
Note: You will have to do this on evey telnet session.

Running the Program

Now you can simply run the program like so:


Terminating the Program

If your program is in an infinite while loop, and you want to stop the program, Ctrl + C will not work here. If you want to exit a program you will need to kill the process. Get the list of running processes with


you will get a list like the following

1176 root      2740 S    /bin/sh 
1229 root     43264 R    ./AR_embedded 
1259 root      2604 S    sleep 10 
1260 root      2740 S    /bin/sh

my program AR_embedded has process ID of 1229, now that I have noted the ID of the process I want to terminate, I can go ahead and kill it

kill 1229