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On-robot Agent

The DroneDeploy Agent connects your robot to the DroneDeploy Robotics Portal. It's a light-weight executable that is installed on your robot and runs as a service - meaning that when your robot is active, it's working in concert with the platform to light up dashboards, send data for storage, and to provide you with operational oversight of your robot's activities.

Currently it's supported for Ubuntu 14.04, 16.04 and 18.04 and for amd64, armhf and arm64 architectures. You install the Agent using APT, then initialize it by going through a simple CLI-based wizard. You can see detailed instructions on how to install it here.

Looking After Your Bandwidth

We've designed the agent to minimize impact on your bandwidth while still being able to do its job. It has the following features:

  1. Teleop Connections are only active when they're being utilised remotely. For example, if you're viewing a dashboard on the Robotics Portal, the agent only sends the data required to light up the dashboard and no more. If you close your browser (and no one else is looking at the dashboard with their browsers), the agent stops sending data.
  2. Storage Data Streams have configurable frequencies, and by default none are switched on. You opt-in to the storage streams you require and no more (see Streaming Data).
  3. Small Messages: the agent uses the latest in streaming technologies to ensure the messages are serialized to small, binary payloads, further maximising the amount of bandwidth you have.

Working In Disconnected Scenarios

If you've configured one or more Storage Data Streams the agent will continue to save data even when your robot doesn't have a connection to the internet.

It does this by saving the telemetry locally, and then attempting to send it when connectivity is re-established. Teleop connections take priority over the storage stream sending. If your robot is offline for a significant amount of time, the agent will start purging the oldest data once the total stored data are over 1GB in size. This size is configurable via a configuration file on the robot - contact [email protected] if you need to change this.

Typically the robot will need to be offline for many hours and have many Storage Data Streams configured before data starts to be deleted.

The net result of this is that even if your robot works in environments with only partial connectivity, your telemetry will eventually make it to the Robotics Portal and be available to you.