AirCap is working title of the Max Planck Grassroots Project Micro Aerial Vehicles-based Outdoor motion CAPture (MAVOCAP).
Motion capture (MoCap) and 4D body scanning systems like Vicon, Optitrack and the 4D Dynamic Scanner (at MPI-IS Tuebingen) can achieve very high degree of accuracy in indoor settings. In addition to being bulky, these systems come with some strong limitations, e.g., they make use of reflected infrared light and heavily rely on precisely calibrated wall or ceiling-mounted fixed cameras. Consequently, such systems cannot be used to perform MoCap in outdoor scenarios where changing ambient light conditions persist and permanent fixtures in the environment cannot be made.
One approach to solve this problem is to employ multiple flying cameras. A large number of commercially available micro aerial vehicles (MAVs), equipped with a camera, can either be flown manually or can be programmed to perform certain trajectories. The ability of such systems to avoid obstacles and accurately execute pre-defined trajectories in outdoor environments is a subject of current research.
Building upon the idea of a system consisting of multiple flying cameras (multiple MAVs), the goal of AirCap is to develop a Multi-MAV fully-autonomous system capable of performing motion capture in outdoor scenarios with a high degree of accuracy.