About

Welcome to the largest community for amateur Unmanned Aerial Vehicles! 

This community is the birthplace of ArduPilot, the world's first universal autopilot platform (planes, multicopters of all sorts and ground rovers). Today the Pixhawk autopilot runs a variety of powerful free and open UAV software systems, including:

  • PX4, a pro-quality open source copter, plane, rover and VTOL software stack from the Linux Foundation's Dronecode Project
  • ArduCopter, open source multicopter and heli UAV software
  • ArduPlane, open source software for planes of all types
  • ArduRover, open source software for ground-based vehicles

New! Drones for Good Picture Book Series for Kids!

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Hi there! We've just launched our new and inclusive Picture Book Series on Drones for Good!

The series focuses on local expertise and drones for good. The books are written by and with local drone experts, editors and illustrators from Africa, Asia and Latin America. The first book in the series focuses on mangrove protection in Panama. This project is a partnership between Flying Labs and WeRobotics. Each book in the series is based on a real-world drones-for-good project led by Flying Labs and their local partners. We'd be so grateful for your kind help in spreading the word. Feel free to retweet us!…

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The COVID-19 pandemic revealed several operational challenges in performing manual drone flights for numerous use cases such as inspections and progress monitoring. Consequently, employing automation technology has become more of a necessity than a nice-to-have. However, the monolithic nature and prohibitive cost of incumbent drone-in-a-box (DiaB) systems for autonomous UAV operations have lowered the adoption of such solutions. Hence, several companies are working towards modularizing the DiaB stack to reduce cost and increase adoption.

These companies are building automated docking stations that support charging, cooling, and landing for popular, off-the-shelf drones such as the DJI Mavic, Matrice, and Phantom series.

Such systems…

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We are building an open protocol smart charger for lithium batteries. BatCha can charge BATMON enabled batteries without have to set the parameters for each battery. BatCha is WiFi enabled and monitors the charge against over-temperature, over-voltage etc. Charging using BatCha is extremely simple and dumb proof.

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BATMON is a lightweight BMS for drone batteries. 9476989069?profile=RESIZE_710x

We launched a Kickstarter Campaign to build the charger https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/batmon/batcha-and-batmon-smart-charger-and-battery. Please donate and support our…

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3D Robotics

From Hackaday. You can 3D-print this quad or buy the parts. It uses modified Betaflight firmware:

Quadcopters are great for maneuverability and slow, stable flight, but it comes at the cost of efficiency. [Peter Ryseck]’s Mini QBIT quadrotor biplane brings in some of the efficiency of fixed-wing flight, without all the complexity usually associated with VTOL aircraft.

The Mini QBIT is just a 3″ mini quadcopter with a pair of wings mounted below the motors, turning it into a “tailsitter” VTOL aircraft. The wings and nosecone attach to the 3D printed frame using magnets, which allows them to pop off in a crash. There is no need…

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[note that this was done in a "capture room", which had external cameras that gave the drone precise position information. So it isn't quite the same thing as doing it in the real world.]

From RoboHub:

The best human drone pilots are very good at doing this and have so far always outperformed autonomous systems in drone racing. Now, a research group at the University of Zurich (UZH) has created an algorithm that can find the quickest trajectory to guide a quadrotor – a drone with four propellers – through a series of waypoints on a circuit. “Our drone beat the fastest lap of two world-class human pilots on an experimental race track”, says Davide Scaramuzza, who heads the …

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Latest Activity

Velma Bernal liked sam's profile
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law writing updated their profile
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Puppy Play Ground updated their profile
15 hours ago
Joseph VanPelt, Steven Fokoua and Joy Damanik joined diydrones
yesterday
Matt Brown replied to Skoog's discussion High Data Rate RF Link?
"If the ground station antenna is directional, it is more sensitive in terms of what it can receive, which compensates for the efficiency of the unidirectional drone antenna. In my project (https://kitware.github.io/adapt/), we have established…"
yesterday
Matt Brown replied to scott's discussion How important is Calculus for drones, such as programming.
"There definitely is complex mathematics, including calculus, involved in the pose estimation routines, such as the Kalman filter, used in the flight controller systems. Though, what you find is that there is a pretty limited set of people with the…"
yesterday
Mattias Luha posted a discussion
Using RTK GNSS on drones has always been a bit complicated for us: the setting up process tends to be long and tedious. It also has been time consuming to validate if all the settings implemented from different forum threads offer a reliable…
Saturday
ceri dwen replied to nick rymer's discussion Win 10 Laptop not seeing Sik radios
"We're still developing and focusing on people who would have a positive experience: https://geometry-dash.co"
Saturday
Matt Brown updated their profile
Friday
Matt Brown posted a discussion
I'm leading a project to develop a completely open source system for deploying artificial intelligence and computer vision on a drone. We are trying to make the system as general purpose as possible, but one application would be supporting precision…
Friday
Matt Brown posted a discussion in ROS User Group
I'm leading a project to develop a completely open source system, which runs on ROS, for deploying artificial intelligence and computer vision on a drone. We are trying to make the system as general purpose as possible. We are getting started with…
Friday
Matt Brown posted a discussion in Agricultural UAVs
I'm leading a project to develop a completely open source system for deploying artificial intelligence and computer vision on a drone. We are trying to make the system as general purpose as possible, but one application would be supporting precision…
Friday
Matt Brown posted a discussion in Terrain/Surface Mapping
I'm leading a project to develop a completely open source system for deploying artificial intelligence and computer vision on a drone, and I thought Terrain/Surface Mapping might be interested. The goal is to support research groups monitoring…
Friday
Auro Soares posted a discussion
I create my custom MAVLink packets in AP/Mission planner, its works fine when the software runs in my Pixhawk4, but I cant make this work in SITL.Apparently it’s like no packages exist. Is it necessary to code something in sitl?When I open the…
Friday
dachi gorgiladze and Matt Brown joined diydrones
Friday
OG replied to Luc Autin's discussion [help need] I must have missed something
"hello,
DX6i needs a compatible receiver that supports failsafe & you need to set it up properly example when you turn off your TX this should put your model in to failsafe ! think if you read the documentation you will find your Rx does need the…"
Friday
OG replied to Hal Seldon's discussion Recommendations for a gimbal
"you can find gopro copter gimbal here as well as DSLR gimbal compatible with Ardupilot
http://mymobilemms.com/OFFTHEGRIDWATER.CA/BRUSHLESS-GIMBALS/GoPro/2..."
Friday
Patrick Meier posted a blog post
Hi there! We've just launched our new and inclusive Picture Book Series on Drones for Good!The series focuses on local expertise and drones for good. The books are written by and with local drone experts, editors and illustrators from Africa, Asia…
Friday
Ezra Diaz replied to scott's discussion How important is Calculus for drones, such as programming.
"Thank you so much for these recommendations!"
Thursday
Ezra Diaz replied to Ward Hum's discussion Drone Building Course
"Thanks for the information."
Thursday
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Site Rules

"Because $10,000 $5,000 $1,000 is too much to pay for an autopilot, especially one that doesn't do exactly what you want."

An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV, colloquially known as a "drone") is basically an aerial robot. As we define it, it is capable of both remotely controlled flight (like a regular RC aircraft) and fully-autonomous flight, controlled by sensors, GPS, and onboard computers performing the functions of an autopilot. Our UAVs include airplanes, helicopters, quadcopters and blimps. Most of them are under five pounds, and some of them (especially the blimps) can be used indoors.

We are focused on non-commercial ("recreational") projects by amateurs, although pros are always welcome too. Reasons to make your own UAV range from a fun technical challenge, student contests, aerial photography and mapping (what we call "GeoCrawling"), and scientific sensing. We are primarily interested in civilian, not military, UAV uses here.

If you're new to all this, start here.

DIY Drones is a community based on the Ning social networking platform, and anybody who registers (it's free and easy) can post their own blog entries like this one on the front page, along with starting discussions in the sidebar at left or uploading videos below that. Your registration gives you the ability to do a lot on the site--so feel free to post anything you think will be of interest to this community!

There are other amateur sites out there, from the discussion forums of RC Groups to individual blogs, but DIY Drones is explicitly built as a social network, which means that the community is as important as the content. We're also focused on the most accessible end of the amateur UAV world, with the aim of potentially including high school students.

This means we emphasize amateur UAV projects that are:

  1. Simple: The aim of this project is to create new amateur UAV platforms, including those that could be used for a FIRST-like contest appropriate for students. While we're at it, we'll make amateur UAV development easier for everyone.
  2. Cheap: The target cost of all of our platforms is less than $1,000. You can buy a very good autopilot system for $10,000, but that's not our approach. Cheaper is better, especially with students and schools.
  3. Safe: We follow the current interpretation of the FAA guidelines on small UAVs. Recreational use (non-commercial), under 400 ft altitude, line of sight, "pilot in the loop" and onboard safety systems that always allow for manual control in the case of malfunction. We're building experimental platforms that demonstrate autonomy and the capacity to do real useful UAV work, but we test them in controlled settings. If you want to fly miles out of sight or map cities, we're going to assume you've got the proper FAA clearance or we don't want to know about it.
  4. Participatory: Share and others will share with you. That means that whenever possible, we open source our code and post it online. Everything on this site is published under a Creative Commons "attribution" license, which means that anyone can use or repost it, as long as they give credit to the original author.
  5. Civil: This is a community site of peers helping each other. Bad behavior, from rudeness to foul language, will be deleted. Generosity and kindness is often rewarded with reciprocal behavior and help.

Here are the full set of Site Policies:
 
  1. Civility is paramount. Treat others with respect, kindness and generosity. Some of our most expert members are people who were once total n00bz but were helped and encouraged by others, and are now repaying the favor with the next generation. Remember the Golden Rule. Don't be a jerk to anyone, be they other members, moderators or the owners. This is not a public park, and you have no constitutionally-mandated right to free speech. If you're creating a hostile or unpleasant environment, you'll be warned, then if it continues you'll be suspended.
  2. No discussion of politics or religion. This is not the place to discuss your views on the wisdom of military use of UAVs, any nation's foreign policy, your feelings about war, or anything else that is inclined to turn into a political debate. It is our experience that the rules for good dinner party conversation--no discussion of politics and religion--apply to online communities, too. DIY Drones aims to bring people together, and we find that discussions of politics and religion tend to polarize and drive people apart. There are plenty of other places to discuss those topics online, just not here.
  3. Ask questions in the discussion forum; inform others in blog posts. Submitted blog posts that are just questions and should have been posted in the discussion forum will not be approved. The moderators may or may not message you with the text so you can repost in the right area. To avoid losing your post, put it in the right place from the start.
  4. Blog posts are for informative topics of broad interest to the community. They must start with a picture or video, so the image appears on the front page on the site and gives a sense of the topic as well as inviting people to click in for more. Videos should be embedded (paste the embed code in the HTML tab, not the Rich Text tab). The post should also include links where appropriate. Don't make people do a Google search for what you're talking about if you can provide a link. 
  5. The Discussion Forum is for questions and tech support. We prefer to do all tech support in public, so that others can follow along. If you have a problem, please describe your particular system setup completely, ideally with a photograph, and pick the right forum tags so that others can find the thread later.
  6. No discussion of military or weaponized applications of UAVs. This site is just about amateur and civilian use.
  7. No discussion of illegal or harmful use of UAVs will be tolerated. Responsible use of UAVs is at the core of our mission. That means conforming with all laws in the United States, where this site is based, and insisting that our members elsewhere follow the laws of their own countries. In addition, we feel that part of our responsibility it to help the relevant authorities understand what's possible with amateur UAVs, so they can make better-informed policies and laws. So we have encouraged all relevant regulators, defense agencies and law enforcement agencies to become members here and even participate to help them do that, and many have. In addition, if we see any discussion of UAV use that we feel is potentially illegal or intended to do harm, we will bring it to the attention to the relevant authorities, and will comply with any legal request they make for information about users (although we don't know much that isn't public; see the next item).
  8. Promote safe flying. Moderators may delete postings that they decide are unsafe or promote unsafe activity. This is a judgement call, since it is also healthy to have public discussion about why certain activities are unsafe, but the decision as to whether to leave a post or edit/delete it is at the moderators' discretion. 
  9. Your privacy is protected, up to a point: This is a social network, so everything you write and post here is public, with certain exceptions: 1) Your private messages are private. Administrators are unable to see them, nor can anyone else other than the recipient. Members must not make private messages public without the explicit permission of everyone involved. 2) Your IP address is private. We are hosted on Ning, which controls the server logs. DIY Drones administrators can only see your username and email address; they cannot see your password and do not have access to your account.
  10. Do not publish personal emails or PMs without permission. This is a violation of expected confidentiality (that's why they're called "personal messages") and is grounds for banning.
  11. Do not type in ALL CAPS. It's considered SHOUTING. Posts in all caps will be deleted by the moderators.
  12. Absolutely no personal attacks. It's fine to disagree, but never okay to criticize another member personally.
  13. Share. Although we are not limited to open source projects, the ones that tend to get the most participation tend to be open source. Don't wait until your code or design is "finished"--post it as it is, and you may find that others will help you finish it faster. The best way to contribute is with your creativity--we love data, code, aircraft designs, photos of UAV projects, videos of flights and build logs. Post early and often!
  14. Keep comments open: Authors of blog posts and discussion threads technically have the option to close their comments or approve them before they appear, but we ask members not to do that. We want to encourage a free flow of conversation and blocking or delaying comments only interferes with that. The Moderators are standing by to ensure the conversation remains on-topic and civil, so please leave your comments open and let them do their job.

New MAVLink packets in SITL

I create my custom MAVLink packets in AP/Mission planner, its works fine when the software runs in my Pixhawk4, but I cant make this work in SITL.Apparently it’s like no packages exist. Is it necessary to code something in sitl?When I open the…

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