Description: This platform was inspired by the realization that almost all the hardware you need for a functioning UAV is contained in the high-end cellphone in your pocket: GPS, camera, two-way long-distance wireless data communications, onboard computing and storage. Why do the tricky hardware integration when some cellphone maker has done it better themselves? By using a Windows Mobile phone, a UAV becomes a software, not a hardware, project. (You can see the phone strapped to the bottom of the plane in the image above; the sensor to the rear of it is for the FMA co-pilot.)
Features: Control the UAV (dynamic waypoints, camera commands, "come home", etc) by text message! Plane can return GPS-tagged imagery in real time by MMS (also stores it onboard for later downloading). Phone steers the rudder along GPS waypoint path, circling on command, and controls the throttle to maintain altitude. Separate FMA co-pilot stabilizer on the ailerons and elevator keeps the plane flying level.
- Airframe: Hobbico SuperStar (49" wingspan, $109). [If you want much better performance, you can upgrade it to a brushless motor and a LiPo battery]
- Autopilot: HP iPaq 6515 Window Mobile smartphone (GPS, 1.2 megapixel camera, discontinued but widely available for less than $200 on eBay.)
- Stabilization: FMA Direct FS8 Co-Pilot (infrared sensors, $115)
- Interface: Rentron serial-to-servo board ($77)
- iPaq to serial cable ($20)
- Custom software: VB.net code running on Windows Mobile, using HP's GPS, Cameraphone and text message libraries. It's still a work in progress, but you can download a beta version that shows basic functionality, here. (Copy the CAB file to your iPaq and run it from the file manager to install the program. It requres the Rentron board and serial cable listed above to do anything useful.). The VB source code is here, so you can modify it for your own needs, including adapting it for Windows Mobile 5 and 6 and other GPS-enabled WM phones. Documentation coming soon.