Want a plug-and-play ArduPilotMega or ArduCopter? Check out uDrones!

One of the top requests we get at DIY Drones is for ready-to-fly autopilots and UAVs. Lots of people aren't comfortable soldering, loading software and otherwise configuring electronics. Others don't have the time to learn the ropes. And everyone wants to avoid the risk of possibly getting it wrong and ruining electronics in the process.

 

All understandable. But we don't want to get into the RTF business. We're focused on making electronics components using automated pick-and-place robots, and our staff is oriented around R&D, QA and customer service, not hand-assembly. Plus complete autopilots are export controlled in the United States, while the individual electronic components we sell typically aren't. 

 

But there is a solution, which I'm delighted to tell you about now. Building on our successful relationship with Jani Hirvinen at jDrones (formerly working under the FahPah name) in Thailand, we are now working with a new company called uDrones (pronounced "microdrones") in Tijuana, Mexico, which will be selling complete ArduPilotMega autopilots and UAVs.

uDrones was started by Guillermo Romero (we call him "Gigio"), an electronics engineer who formerly specialized in solar technology. It's an independent company, and the only formal relationship with DIY Drones/3D Robotics is that they're a retail partner (we work with lots of retail partners, who buy products in bulk from us at wholesale prices--contact Jordi at the DIY Drones store if you'd like to be one).  But I wanted to highlight what they're doing because it's an impressive illustration of the processes and QA procedures needed to turn electronics parts into a Ready-to-Fly autopilot or UAV with confidence.

 

Here are some pictures from the new Tijauna factory, as they prepare seven ArduCopters for sale. Note that these are not sold as kits: they are fully assembled and flight tested. You should be able to connect your own RC gear and battery and just go. 

 

Motor testing station (arrows show correct direction)

 

ESC and motor connectors are soldered, to avoid the problem of loose connectors that can cause quad crashes.

 

Here's how the ArduCopters are shipped, fully assembled (another layer of foam goes on top). 

 

Because these are hand-assembled and flight-tested, they cost more than kits: $895 for a RTF ArduCopter. (JDrones in Thailand sells similar RTF ArduCopters, fully assembled and flight-tested for $860.). But if you're looking for a little less DIY in your DIY Drones, that may very well be worth it ;-)

 

Also note that uDrones sells the ArduPilotMega autopilot itself fully assembled and tested with GPS and latest code loaded (specify fixed wing or quad), for $349

 

Here's a gallery of photos from the new uDrones factory:

 

Views: 1312

Comment by Crescent UAV on February 12, 2011 at 9:56am
Amazing so sad that I just paid 729 for the carbon fiber X650 2 days ago This is really what I wanted :(..... patience is a virtue... I'll get one eventually.
Comment by SupreCharger on February 12, 2011 at 10:48am
RTR is no fun lol. I just kidding.
Comment by Adam R on February 14, 2011 at 2:38pm

Great Idea.

Time is money. If he can save me some time, he can have my money.

It will help me get started. I will be going there soon.

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