DIYDrones is going to be at Maker Faire this weekend in San Mateo. We're going to be in the Wired/GeekDad booth (yes, I wear lots of hats), booth 166 in the Expo Hall (click on the map for detail), all day Sat and Sun. We'll be… Continue
"Starting last week, the National Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian Institution is recognizing that 21st-century technology in an exhibition titled "Military Unmanned Aerial… Continue
I was debugging some code on the Basic Stamp Autopilot this evening, trying to figure out why the navigation function isn't working right. The debug results were mystifying--variables that should have been +-128 were giving crazy values like 64526.
And then it hit me: The Basic Stamp doesn't really know the difference between an unsigned word variable (all 16 bits used) and a signed word (first bit is the +/- bit). You can adjust your debug displays to compensate for that (using SDEC… Continue
This is a short demo of our "BlimpDuino", a toy RC blimp that has been turned into an autonomous aerial robot driven by an Arduino open source embedded processors. It uses an ultrasonic sensor to maintain altitude and IR sensors to detect a ground-based IR beacon. This demo just shows the blimp circling the beacon and maintaining altitude. Eventually this will become a <$70 modkit that… Continue
Have beaten the light painting algorithm to death. These are movies of some words being painted by autopilot. The 35mm sensor captures the entire flight from underneath. Then the flight recording is shown in Google Earth.
Painting text in this confined space is the hardest thing the computer does. It requires a third entry in our gain schedule for velocity.
P=1.0 Vmax=2m/s satisfy radius=2m for painting text
P=1.0 Vmax=1m/s satisfy radius=5m for hovering
Dan Edwards, a grad student at North Carolina State University, has set a new world's record for an autonomous glider flying without power from thermal to thermal. On April 18th, his 5m glider flew 29.4 miles cross country…Continue
This was my first year at the FIRST Robotics Championships, and I was blown away. More than 20,000 kids and coaches from 1,500 teams from around the world came to Atlanta to compete in the Georgia Dome. They brought more than a 1,000 robots… Continue
Wayne Garris passed along this important update on the FAA UAV rulemaking process and what you can do to ensure that we amateurs continue to have a safe and lightly regulated place in the sky. (Short form: contact Robert Blair below and express your support for the creation of a new organization to represent amateur and small commercial UAV operators)
"Just giving everyone an update. Scott McKinnie and I had what we believe was a successful trip to DC. We believe that we can achieve… Continue
I'm at the FIRST Robotics Championship in Atlanta and we've just unveiled the first REAL Lego UAV. It's actuallly been working for a few months, but we couldn't talk about it since it's based on the new hardware that was just announced yesterday as the new FIRST Tech Challenge competition kit. Our UAV uses Mindstorms and the new hardware to make a full… Continue
This is a mini review of the Hobbico NexStarEP RTF. It currently costs $399 from tower hobbies There is a much more detailed review of the model here at rcgroups.com. That review is from a pure RC perspective. I am writing this to highlight the UAV friendly features of the NexStar.
We're still racing to pack up everything for the FIRST Robotics Championship this Thursday, Friday and Saturday in Atlanta. LEGO has me listed as a speaker, in conjunction with the release of a brand new robotics platform. The title is "Taking LEGO MINDSTORMS to the Sky - The LEGO Autopilot' - by Chris Anderson". But that can't be the… Continue
We're racing to get ready for the FIRST Robotics Championships in Atlanta next week, and the second version of our Arduino-powered RC blimp mod kit is coming together nicely. We moved to a two-sided board…Continue
On Saturday (April 5th) we flew the airplane for the first time with the autopilot since it got the new wing. But before we went out to the RC airfield we had to physically install the autopilot in the fuselage, which went well. We then performed all of the flights necessary to tune the autopilot in HIL (Hardware In the Loop) simulation mode.
Using HIL simulation allowed us to all to get a better of idea… Continue