December 2007 Blog Posts (31)


3D Robotics
Cool video on the Australian UAV contest (including high school contestants)

The folks behind the Australian Outback Challenge, an amateur UAV contest, have just posted a great video from their inaugural competition, held this September. It had two levels. The first, for high-school students, involved one team member controlling a R/C plane while another used onboard telemetry to guide the pilot over a target, on which they were supposed to drop a golf ball. The second, for university and above contestants, required a… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on December 30, 2007 at 9:19pm — No Comments


3D Robotics
Basic Stamp autopilot tutorial, part 3



[UPDATE: We no longer recommend this GPS module, since it's incomptible with GPS simulators. The module we do recommend, the EM406, is described here.]





Now you've got the hang of connecting components to the development board, you'll be pleased by… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on December 30, 2007 at 6:00pm — 10 Comments

From paper to UAV in one day.

As usual, I had the urge to design and build a new UAV airframe in one day. I woke up this morning and the gears in my head began turning about a new simple airframe design, so I started like I usually do with a sketch. I then moved on to cutting the basic shape out of a sheet of blu-core foam, making 2 pieces total then glueing them together with some gorilla glue. I also created a elevator and rudder using 1/4 in. foam…

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Added by JONATHAN on December 30, 2007 at 5:30pm — 3 Comments


3D Robotics
Basic Stamp autopilot tutorial, part 2

Okay, now that we have the BASIC Stamp board driving the servos, let's now have it read the R/C receiver signals. This is a simple matter of plugging in two cables from the receiver to the board. I've shown two ways in the photo here: one is with a female-to-female cable,… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on December 30, 2007 at 11:00am — 9 Comments


3D Robotics
Basic Stamp autopilot tutorial, part 1

Over in the discussion sidebar, Wayne Garris and James Hall have been working through the details of how to build a BASIC Stamp autopilot, which we use in in GeoCrawler3 (formerly 4--sorry for the… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on December 29, 2007 at 11:30pm — 15 Comments


3D Robotics
More learning from the Crossbow MNAV open source crew

The Crossbow MNAV autopilot system is a pricey (starting at $1,500) package of sensor and GPS hardware that has received a lot of attention in the amateur UAV world because Crossbow, to its credit, open sourced… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on December 28, 2007 at 8:14pm — No Comments

Loose LiPos Sink Ships



New rules from the DOT concerning airtravel and LiPo batteries. Thank goodness we have reliable Plastic Bags to protect us!!

;-)
Paul

Added by paul hubner on December 28, 2007 at 7:43pm — 3 Comments

Building a UAV for photo mapping - Kit Mods



First I must thank Jeffrey Johnson who posted a set of images of the Cularis he is building for photo mapping. He has made a really neat modification by moving the rudder and elevator servos from the stock

position in the cockpit, to tail mounting…

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Added by Paul Gregory on December 26, 2007 at 2:24am — No Comments

Building a UAV for photo mapping - Autopilot



Ahh!! CRASH and BURN!!



I had planned to use the Pico-Pilot and Pico-GPS for the autopilot in my UAV, but I have now discovered that since Jan 2007, they have been classed as MILITARY technology and are controlled by US Export License regulations. Specifically the regulations cover,…

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Added by Paul Gregory on December 23, 2007 at 8:20am — 8 Comments


3D Robotics
The difference between our autopilots and those of the pros

What do you get for the hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars cost difference between our UAVs and those of the pros? Well, a lot (even after you take out defense contractor markups). Ours are one-offs that need a lot of hand tweaking, care and knowledge to use. They have limited range and altitude, and as we know all too well, sometimes they don't… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on December 22, 2007 at 11:00pm — 5 Comments

Building a UAV for photo mapping - Packing it all in



The first image shows the recommended distribution of components for the electric version of the Cularis. (Click for higher resolution). In this configuration, the plane balances at the CGO with 3 weights (supplied in the kit) fixed under the tail plane. The component weight…

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Added by Paul Gregory on December 22, 2007 at 11:30am — 11 Comments


100KM
washington state DOT demo hwy 20,Washington pass

our bird the A-3

yamaha R-MAX flown by georgia tech…

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Added by wayne garris on December 21, 2007 at 8:22pm — 2 Comments


100KM
some ap pics

taken with 7mgp camera and own design foamy

marymoor rc park

sweet uav…

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Added by wayne garris on December 21, 2007 at 8:14pm — No Comments

Building a UAV for photo mapping - Camera Selection

I have bought a Pentax Optio A30 to use as my aerial camera. It is similar to a number of the latest generation of sub-compact 10Mpixel cameras and has good reviews, especially in terms of its image quality. It weighs about 160gm with battery and SD memory card and at 58mm, has one of the smallest widths I have found – important for fitting

into the Cularis…

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Added by Paul Gregory on December 21, 2007 at 9:30am — 7 Comments

Building a UAV for photo mapping - The Goal

Hi



My name is Paul Gregory and I read about this site in the Economist article. As I now live on a small wine and olive farm

in Italy, the idea of building a UAV to produce high resolution aerial

photographs of the surrounding area seems not just great fun but also

very useful. I have been researching and reading a lot over the last

month and as I am now ready to start my project, it seems time to share

my ideas and progress. Hopefully your…
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Added by Paul Gregory on December 20, 2007 at 11:30am — 4 Comments


3D Robotics
UAV seaplane recharges while floating for longer missions

The University of Michigan is working on a very interesting 7ft-wingspan electric UAV that is designed to decide for itself whether to float or fly. It's shown here with the electronics of an ocean buoy with which it can interact. It's modeled… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on December 19, 2007 at 1:28pm — 1 Comment


3D Robotics
Basic Stamp Autopilot Tutorial Series

This is the front page of the multpart tutorial series that teaches you how to build and test the Basic Stamp Autopilot used in GeoCrawler 3.



Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on December 18, 2007 at 1:00pm — 1 Comment


3D Robotics
UAV use skyrocketing

The latest stats out of the Pentagon show that UAV (or UAS--unmanned aerial systems--as they're known in the miltary) flight time is rising faster than ever. It climbed from 160,000 hours in 2006 to an estimated 250,000 this year--up 56%.



And with that has come increased spending, from $400 million in 2002 to more than $2 billion next year to an… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on December 18, 2007 at 7:05am — No Comments

NASA's new autopilot system

NASA is developing a navigation system that augments GPS signals via a satellite phone network so that it works around the globe, beyond the limited implementation of WAAS. Their intended application is a UAV based mapping function utilizing synthetic aperture radar technology which requires a highly stable and accurate platform.

For testing purposes they will mount the radar and navigation system on a Gulfstream III (I especially like this part), "Since the Gulfstream III operates…

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Added by T-Rex on December 14, 2007 at 1:09pm — No Comments


3D Robotics
Global Hawk first impressions

Well, both Global Hawk models I wrote about the other day arrived, and I've just had time to open the boxes and quickly look them over. But four things are already clear:

  1. They're basically the same model, from Haoye Models.

  2. The…
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Added by Chris Anderson on December 13, 2007 at 3:27am — No Comments

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