I'm CEO of 3D Robotics and founder of DIY Drones. I'm the former Editor in Chief of Wired Magazine, author of The Long Tail (Hyperion, 2006), FREE (Hyperion, 2009) and Makers (Crown, 2012) and founder of GeekDad.com
"I love seeing this type of stuff! I always think about the Ryan X-14 and the XFY Pogo and how cool those designs would have been with more advanced avionics and of course, electric engines in the case of the Pogo... "
"You can not compare this to a quadcopter or a fixed wing. That would be like comparing a quadcopter to a fixed wing. You have to compare it to past designs similar to this, and based on that it looks extremely good so far. Yes, you can fly that fast…"
"JD, it's definitely cool, very sexy looking, and I'm sure you'll raise $1,000,000 (get ready for it).
I'm just an applications guy, so I'm more interested in practical performance, but not everybody is."
it took me a while to understand what you said about tailsitters. This isn't a tail sitter it's a classic quadrocopter with a slightly different frame. A tailsitter is a VTOL capable plane that takes off and lands vertically. Real…"
"This is asinine. Don't fly within 150m of buildings? Even one story buildings? So like my neighbors shed? Avoid flying over private property or taking photos or videos without permission? Excuse me but where does that leave to fly? I guess…"
"Hey guys. Great discussion on our Kickstarter project! I knew we would cach some flack for the "never been done before" comment but it was true at the time (at least to our knowledge). The craft is amazing to fly and it…"
"This looks like a really interesting project, kind of reminiscent of what google is working on for their delivery drone. Looked good enough in kit form to experiment with, so I back the project on Kickstarter.
"Money and power. Bureaucracies live to grow, and will use any excuse to annex an activity in order to do so. Heck, one day, they'll regulate jumping rope, if the practitioner doesn't leave at least one foot on the ground. Paper airplanes?…"
"Yeah, there's definitely some merits to separate lift and thrust motors. One problem with tail-sitters, is that to be efficiency in hover, they need large, low-pitch props. But the low-pitch props result in low maximum pitch-speed…"
"It does look fantastic, I'll give them that.
But yeah, this is definitely not the first time this has been done. It also doesn't outperform everything else out there. Leonard has done 108 km/h with a quadcopter. And…"
"Looks nice. But is definitely not new:
2010 Transition Robotics won the Cool Idea! award and was featured in Make Magazine with the QuadShot: http://transition-robotics.com/pages/projects
2011 the QuadShot was a successful Kickstarter Project.
"This finally triggered me to sign up to Kickstarter... haven't back it, yet. Thanks for the post Chris!
With all the recent discussion about VTOL and the challenges of the phase transition, it would be nice to have a bit more technical…"
I just read your post on UAVs and I'm wondering if there's anywhere that one could purchase a pre-made UAV...couldn't find one on ebay.
I run a network of websites, www.ballerhouse.com, and am considering featuring a UAV article. Can you point me in the direction of where someone could purchase one? If so, what other info should my readers know?
The cheapest commercial one is around $7,000 (cropcam.com). The cheapest *good* one is around $10,000 (http://www.procerusuav.com/). That's why we started this site, to bring the price down below $1,000.
We're *DIY* Drones--buying one premade isn't the point ;-)
If you want to do a Q&A with me, that would be fine.
The reason for the board is that my son and I thought it would be fun to build our own board, develop theory, and write firmware. We were inspired by Maynard Hill, who came to town and gave a talk.
We got our feet wet with a rapid-prototyping board mounted on an RC truck, and then build our own board for a sailplane. We bought our parts from SparkFun. Nathan Seidle, the ownder of Sparkfun, asked me what we were doing, I told him, he offered to build a surface mount board for me.
My son and I spent a few delightful summers getting the firmware working. At the time, our goal was to play, to just do some interesting things with it, without any goal in mind. When we were done, we had something that worked to our satisfaction, Nathan asked if he could sell it, we gave him permission.
We recognized that what we had was not a full-fletched autopilot, but that it might be interesting to anyone wanting to tinker with the controller. They could build on our firmware, if they wanted, or start from stratch, if they were ambitious.
By the way, the main reason we used assembly language was that my son had never written any, and he wanted to learn. He had used lots of other languages, but not assembly.
As far as what people are doing with my board, you probably have more information than I have!! The only person I've talked to so far is a member of diydrones. All I know is that the board is selling well at SparkFun, with no complaints.
By the way, the reason the board has been backordered for so long is that the vendor of the GPS replaced their ET301 with an ET312 at the same time that SparkFun was automating their board production, resulting in some defective boards. Even after we worked out the hardware problems, there was a subtle change in the ET312 that caused some problems. Every board that SparkFun builds is tested with the full firmware running, and the boards were not passing. We finally figured out what was wrong, production is resumed, I guess they are catching up on backorders.
All of the work my son and I was deliberately done in a vacuum...we didn't do any research on what other people were doing. We made some mistakes (that was the point) and had some fun.
My background is an electrical engineer with strengths in control theory, mathematics, and theory of flight.
I work at GE's research labs, I've been there for 33 years.
You might want to do a Google on "William Premerlani" to see what I have been up to. Much of it has to do with software development...you gave me a good chuckle when you said in your review that you wondered why we hadn't used C...the answer is, it would have been too easy!!!
I won honorable mention, best in category, best in engineering, 550$, and an internship offer, at the state science & engineering fair. (The winners were a guy who did computer simulations of bird flu epidemics to determine the best method to distribute a limited supply of antivirals, a girl who developed an advanced, complex robotic vision algorithm which could detect blobs in foggy areas and high altitude ranges, and a guy who figured out a method to stem the growth of certain forms of cancer, so it was a humbling experience).
I just wanted to thank you for making this website and for your great documention and projects, because without them I'd probably still be trying to figure out how to connect the GPS receiver to the Stamp.
Been following along for some time (geekdad) and just bought a Blubberbot for something to do over the summer holidays... thinking about the project possibilities for my kids in electronics 11/12 ... hmmm blimp racing? Anyway, great to be here.