Chris Anderson's Blog – April 2012 Archive (31)

Tacocopter flies! (sorta)

Star Simpson, the MIT grad who started the Tacocopter site/stunt, has been living in Hong Kong and she's decided to build on the media attention by actually working on a copter. As the…

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Added by Chris Anderson on April 30, 2012 at 12:56pm — 6 Comments

Astounding new nanocopter: the Walkera QR Ladybird

I just got the Walkera QR Ladybird nanoquad and it's just frankly amazing. For $140, you get the quad, a 7 Channel 2.4 digital Devo…

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Added by Chris Anderson on April 29, 2012 at 8:30pm — 42 Comments

An air traffic control system for model aircraft

Andrew Hazelden has a cool project!

This is a concept design for a handheld air traffic control system for model airplanes. This project is designed to allow a small handheld device…

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Added by Chris Anderson on April 29, 2012 at 1:35pm — 6 Comments

Nanocopter coming along nicely!

John Morgan's nanocopter, which he's doing for this university research project, is coming along nicely! MPU-6050 sensors, MultiWII…

Added by Chris Anderson on April 29, 2012 at 12:44pm — No Comments

Adorable PCB microcopter project on Instructables

From the Instructable:

Main Features:

  • X mode flying
  • MPU-6000 gyro & accelerometer sensor for flight stabilization
  • USB battery recharging on the transmitter, the copter…
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Added by Chris Anderson on April 27, 2012 at 1:36pm — 4 Comments

"Think GPS is cool? IPS will blow your mind."

From Extremetech, a glimpse of a way to do indoor navigation in public spaces:

For all of their awesome applications — from portable navigation devices, to …

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Added by Chris Anderson on April 24, 2012 at 4:20pm — 7 Comments

Another great (and very DIY) quad project

Totally scratch-built electronics, including MPU-6050 sensors and DSPIC processor. Fantastic build log. From Hackaday:

What a sweet thing it is to see the first outdoor…

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Added by Chris Anderson on April 24, 2012 at 2:04pm — No Comments

Optical (no GPS) navigation in new ETH research copters

From SUASNews:

Cameras for navigation and mapping

One innovation of the flying robots is that the devices are able to stabilise and locate their position using only the cameras and…

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Added by Chris Anderson on April 24, 2012 at 2:00pm — 1 Comment

Demo of Android/APM PhoneDrone board

Great start for people interested in using the PhoneDrone Android/APM interface board.

From the video description:

Posting to this video: …

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Added by Chris Anderson on April 23, 2012 at 9:14pm — 2 Comments

Canberra UAV video deliverable for the 2012 UAV Outback Challenge

ArduPlane team leader Andrew Tridgell and the rest of the Canberra UAV team show their stuff in this required video for the Outback Challenge. The first part is all checklist stuff, but flight starts at 11:41. Listen closely for the ArduPlane automated voice reports!

Added by Chris Anderson on April 22, 2012 at 6:42pm — 18 Comments

Robots meet "The Robot"

Resistance is futile...

Added by Chris Anderson on April 18, 2012 at 5:25pm — 6 Comments

NPR: "Drones Moving From War Zones To The Home Front"

John Villasenor, senior fellow at the Center for Technology Innovation, Brookings Institution, was on NPR's Talk of the nation today talking about civilian drones. 3D Robotics gets a mention. 

As usual, there is some confusion over terms and definitions:

VILLASENOR: Well, first of all, I think it's very important to emphasize that model aircrafts are not drones. Model aircraft are flown within the line of sight of, and under the control of…

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Added by Chris Anderson on April 17, 2012 at 9:31pm — 7 Comments

Wireless power transfer to ground sensors using a UAV

Hizook (Travis Deyle and Robert Powers) have found some fascinating research: 

We were…

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Added by Chris Anderson on April 17, 2012 at 9:15pm — 10 Comments

Open Source Robotics Foundation launched, gets DARPA backing

Last week, DARPA announced that the recommended simulation environment for its…

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Added by Chris Anderson on April 17, 2012 at 3:30pm — 6 Comments

Remember SPOT? It's still around and can be used for sat comms!

Back in 2004, in the day before ubiquitous smart phones and data networks, Microsoft and some hardware partners such as Fossil and Swatch introduced SPOT (Smart Personal Objects Technology) watches, which used a satellite…

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Added by Chris Anderson on April 17, 2012 at 7:33am — 8 Comments

Jordi on front page of San Diego Business Journal

Article here. Excerpts:

It’s a land rush in the air.

Jordi Munoz Bardales is one of a handful of San Diego entrepreneurs staking out new territory in the rapidly commercializing field of…

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Added by Chris Anderson on April 16, 2012 at 10:53pm — 5 Comments

"Drone Majors Bask in Cool as U.S. Prepares to Open Skies"

Yes, you can major in "drones" now in college. 

From…

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Added by Chris Anderson on April 16, 2012 at 2:03pm — 2 Comments

Tiny PCB quad gets an upgrade

Update from Hackaday. This looks like a good candidate design for a cheap open source version of the cool U-Penn GRASP Lab…

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Added by Chris Anderson on April 16, 2012 at 10:00am — 5 Comments

New 3DR boxes are in!

One of our priorities as 3D Robotics grows is to improve the customer experience in everything from product design and documentation to packaging. You'll see a bunch of new efforts in this direction over the next few months, ranging from a branding/design overhaul of the storefront to a new platform for our…

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Added by Chris Anderson on April 13, 2012 at 11:36am — 24 Comments

Compass calibration: How Apple does it (vs how we do it)

One of the APM features the dev teams have been working hardest on is improved compass calibration. Magnetometers are a tricky thing to get right because there are at least three kinds of variation: 1) each sensor is different, 2) the Earth's magnetic field varies around the planet (Declination), 3) The "hard iron" magnetic…

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Added by Chris Anderson on April 13, 2012 at 10:00am — 11 Comments

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