We would like to share with you a project we've been working on at SPH Engineering. We have developed an adapter that makes it possible to connect and use DJI gimbals / camera systems with virtually any other drone or autopilot.

It was designed as a part of our tethered drone system AirMast (airmast.com), however, it will be available separately as well. Here's a video of the adapter:

The device features an Ethernet interface and can be operated through a web browser. Video stream can be played with media players such as VLC and others as ffmpeg. Furthermore, REST API is also available for controlling the camera.

The adapter is sold separately. For orders or more information please contact us at ugcs@ugcs.com
Get the latest version of UgCS here: www.ugcs.com

Safe flights,
UgCS Team

Views: 2632

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on March 8, 2017 at 6:10am

Alexey, DJI might want to sue to stop you producing that.  Reason is, DJI is killing it the UAV industry, in large part, because of their excellent camera systems.

Ardupilot is easily a match for DJI's flight controls.  Far superior in most cases.  And using 3rd party components, it's not hard for somebody to make an aircraft that is superior to a DJI system in performance, reliability, and capability.

However, there are no good options for integrated cameras/gimbals.  The wider market has largely failed here.  It's too bad it went this way, and didn't have to happen, I sent an email to Chris Anderson in 2012 explaining how important brushless gimbal technology was and that he should start developing it.  But he didn't see it at the time.  Now we know the result of that...  Anyway...  DJI's camera/gimbals are a unique selling feature, that push people to buy their systems.

But this product, sort of breaks that.

Comment by Alexey Dobrovolskiy on March 9, 2017 at 1:19am

Rob, will see... I can't predict what they will do. I would like not to discuss this topic here...

Regarding tech questions.

- price. We are talking with potential OEM producers - we are primarily software house and don't want to dive to mass-production business. Price of adaptor should be comparable to the price of DJI Manifold.

- availability. Please give us couple of weeks.

- size. Size of current version was optimized for quite big airframes like DJI s900 or similar. Please see how it looks like under s900. In future version we would like to reduce size (at least twice) to allow to carry 2 cameras on one copter.

- very important - software in our adapter has only REST API interface available through IP over wired Ethernet. But we will document how to access other type of ports and you will have possibility to write and run your own code. For example to implement PWM interface to control camera etc.


100KM
Comment by Hein du Plessis on March 12, 2017 at 9:03am

That is brilliant! Pity that one should go to these extremes to get a decent camera on your drone..

What is the weight of the adapter?

Comment by Alexey Dobrovolskiy on March 12, 2017 at 2:45pm

Weight is 353g without camera.

With Z3 weight is 620g.

Comment by Greg on March 17, 2017 at 2:59am

Hi, Gimbals often get information from the autopilot to aid with the stabilization process. Do you take this information as well? If not, how does the gimbal perform without it as compared to when it does have it? I think I'm talking about a knowledge of commands to change aircraft attitude aids in stabilization calculations? Thanks for any comments!

Comment by Alexey Dobrovolskiy on March 17, 2017 at 4:21am

Hi Greg, you are absolutely right. DJI gimbal also needs information about aircraft attitude. Now we are experimenting where to get this information. We have only two variants - from autopilot or from IMU inside of adaptor.
It seems that we will use internal IMU because we want to make adaptor maximally simple for integration.

Comment by n1ente on May 12, 2017 at 3:22am

Sounds great! any news on the avaibility of the DJI gimbal "for APM" from UgCS?

Comment by Alexey Dobrovolskiy on May 14, 2017 at 8:41am
We are still working on it. For first "pilot" customer we implemented support for XT and X30 gimbals and now we are working on integration with autopilot. We decided to use telemetry stream from AP.

Moderator
Comment by Bill Piedra on May 14, 2017 at 10:56am

This could be a game changer for Ardupilot.   I work as a Developer Advocate for Qualcomm, and though Qualcomm Flight has a built in 4K camera, having a high quality camera like the DJI Camera Gimbals would be a huge improvement.  


Moderator
Comment by Bill Piedra on May 14, 2017 at 11:16am

I would really love to demonstrate this product as well as Airmast and UgCS on the second season of the TV Show Droned on the Science Channel. If you haven't seen it here are a couple of clips.

Tyler Perry's Giant Scale Airbus 380

TV Series Droned on the Science Channel

Tyler Perry Wowed by Epic New Drone

Tyler Perry now owns the largest collection of RC Aircraft in the world. I've seen his 'hanger' which is a 12,500 sq foot facility packed to the rafters with RC Aircraft, including a $300,000 Airbus A380. The picture in this post was taken when the barn was empty. It's now so full the only place he can put more planes is by hanging them from the ceiling. He will also be on season 2.

I will also be appearing on ABC Nightline at the end of May/early June. 

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