• I compete annually in a kite fishing contest in New Zealand. Kite fishing involves the use of a kite to drag 1000 meters or so of nylon out to sea with 10 baited fish hooks on the end. You basically leave it out there for 90 minutes and then pull it in to see what you have got. Each year the contest offers a technology prize that I would like to win. Therefore I am looking to have the kite drag a float that contains an instrument package - gps, depth sounder and transmitter. I figure that I should be able to transmit the location of the end of the line relative to me on the beach and the depth of water at that point and then use accumulated data (on laptop) to target specific water depths and/or distances. I should also be able to build a profile of the sea floor as well. So, not really a UAV, but the Ardupilot seems to have all the components I need other than depth, but I can solve that locally. Right now I am reading as much as I can to avoid the need to ask stupid questions and convincing my wife that the $500 kiwi bucks I need will be a good way to keep me out of trouble. I am wide open to suggestions if anyone has any.
  • I´m working in an autonomous UAV, I projected my own airplane, fly by waypoints, auto pilot, all sensors and I'm working in a groundstationcontrole by joysticks.The airplane has 3 m wingspan, 1.5 m lenght, my desire is put a camera onboard to pilot this airplane in a long range, how much bigger the range is better.I don´t have a fotos for now...
  • Hi.. my name is mohanakannan from India recently got a bachelor degree in aeronautical engineering. As a final project I designed and built an unmanned aircraft. This aircraft has been built entirely out of junks. I used an old bike engine to power my airplane it is a 125cc petrol engine that delivers around 10bhp. I designed and carved a wooden propeller on my own for my uav. The aircraft is controlled by a 6 channel rc system in which the low torque servos actuates a proportional switch that in turn controls a high torque electric motor to actuate the heavy control surfaces of my aircraft.This new approach has reduced the cost by over 60%. This is one big innovative thing that is found in my aircraft. But I have worked a long time with my control system perfecting it to work almost similar to a high performance servo.
    We Indians concentrate first on budget for what ever we do so I wanted my airplane to be built at an extremely low cost. I spent only around 700$ to build my airplane (a massive scale airplane with 14 foot wing span and 55kg in weight). Its a simple design high wing with dihedral so it should fly exhibiting the predicted performance. the overall take off weight of my airplane is over 55kg. I am working almost an year in this project and has successfully completed the ground run of my aircraft.
    URL of the Ground run video of my airplane:




  • Yes iam

    I will have the Predator UAV airframe very soon plus some servos and stuff.

    Jag är svensk. hehe

    Härliga filmer du har laddat upp.

  • i am working on a big uav project, maybe bigger than i can handle... my project is Gündoğan ( Solar Falcon in english). as you can easily imagine she is a solar powered microprocessor controlled totally hand made UAV. i am not an engineer nor electronics expert but only a robotics enthusiast. but still i started this challenging project. i am working with trial and error and some web searching. until now i managed to complete the prototype plane mainframe and manufactured the wing with the solar panels and made the plane ready to fly manually. next step is the navigation electronics. i am planning to leave the flight stabilization to an art-tech co-pilot with IR horizon sensor and do the navigation with DIY Drones' Ardu pilot. the reason is i am used to playing with Arduino. waiting for Chris and jordi to finish their work with it and publish the latest pcb and Arduino code. you can find the details of my project at:
  • Chris,
    I need to speak to you about a confidential search and recovery (SAR) expedition we are preparing for. It involves customizing one of our tethered surveillance aerostats traversing very difficult terrain. We have a need for wireless video, navigation, transmitters, pan and tilt equipment to help the search party. I see you have interest and skills idendifying low cost tools which may mean low weight surveillance / aerial tools. Can you possibly call me or write. I have not yet had you respond to my DIY Drone communications so lets try the phone.
  • I am building a UAV. I started with a heli, a blade cx, but it was too small for what i wanted it to carry, and there was too much new things to learn. After picking up a 3.5" SBC, and a load of frame grabbers, it became pretty clear that i should try again with a larger plane type aircraft.

    The craft will be ground station controlled, with basic auto pilot navigation. Later, i will add cool features to it.

    Chris, i've been reading your posts quite avidly. All i can say is "thank you". The servo controller, the FMA co pilot...all these things will make my life easier. I almost can save that 5 axis IMU for the Heli as planned.

    I guess the #1 thing i have questions on, as mine will be using those 640x480 Sony SUPERHAS CCDs, except that the spotter CCD will have a monster computar lens, is on image stabilization. I looked up how to build a steady cam, gyros, a whole slew of things, and i still haven't figured it out. Then again, i dont know how stable my aircraft will be as i started buying things a week ago. However, for the most part, other than programming, which i suck at, I have it figured out. I even am putting a parachute for emergency deployment. :)

    Has anyone gotten their UAV to LAND autonomously?
  • PUSHPAK-1, THE UAV PROJECT, continued

    Project is Split in following parts:

    - Development of Airframe.
    - Development of dsPIC based Flight Computer and PIC18 based servo controller.
    - Interfacing Pressure sensors & Gyro.
    - FLIGHT TEST 1 : The glider will be flown manually with airspeed, altitude sensor & Gyro. A data telemetry system will send the Airspeed and Altitude data on ground. This data will be used for sensor calibration.
    -FLIGHT TEST 2: The glider will be flown with only altitude hold program in Autonomous mode. Rudder and throttle control will remain with operator in autonomous mode. Altitude hold function & Switching between modes will be tested.

    -GPS will be integrated in the system.
    -FLIGHT TEST3: In autonomous mode the glider wil be programmed to circle around a fixed location with controlled rate turning and altitude hold.

    - Compass will be integrated.
    -FLIGHT TEST4: Multipoint navigation trial with help of GPS and Compass.


    The project is in the design stage right now, Airframe is ready. I am working on preparing schematics and PCB for the Flight computer as well as the servo controller. Also working on the Algorithm and is almost finalized.

    I would like to have your comments and suggestions regarding this project. I Will keep on updating information as the project progresses.


    Hi Everybody! My name is Achal Agrawal. I am an engineering student from India. I am a weekend flyer and a robotics enthusiast. I also head the Robotics Club in my college. I have participated in and won many robotics contests at college level. As I have both Aeromodelling and Robotics as my hobbies I have always dreamed of making my own UAV and now I have decided to turn it into a reality. I am here to share my work and ideas with you. Hopefully your comments will help me achieve my goal.


    • To Design, Build & fly a UAV.
    • To design & build the Airframe and Avionics myself.
    • A budget of $600.
    • The Avionics carrying no high cost IMU.
    • UAV capable of flights upto 1 hr.
    • UAV capable of multipoint navigation, Altitude control, Airspeed control & circling over a waypoint
    • Build Time approximately 6-7 months.


    AIRFRAME: Powered electric/Engine Glider, 6 ft wing-span. Balsa wood construction.
    CONTROLS: Throttle, Rudder & Elevator.
    • dsPIC Microcontroller with 12 bit ADCs as the flight computer.
    • PIC18F Microcontroller as the Servo Controller.
    • Pressure sensor-MPX5010 with Pitot Tube for Airspeed Measurement.
    • Pressure sensor- MPX4100 (Static) for Altitude Measurement
    • 32 Channel GPS for Navigation.
    • Compass for heading measurement.
    • Futaba GY240 Rate Gyro for combined Roll and Yaw axis stabilization.
    • Elevator control is based on altitude measurement.
    Throttle control is based on Airspeed Measurement.

    As I have a low budget for my project, so I decided not to go for an IMU (Inertial measurement Unit, containing gyros & accelerometers for knowing attitude of aircraft). Buying an IMU was not in budget and developing an IMU wasn’t easy at my level. I decided to go for an Inherently Stable Airframe which wouldn’t require a full IMU. The Airframe I had selected in the beginning was a Powered Parafoil as it has self stabilizing characteristic due to pendulum effect. The stall speed is also very slow for parafoil. I decided to first have it autonomous only in glide mode so only control to be operated was steering of parafoil. The autopilot comprising GPS for navigation & Compass for heading information and a PIC microcontroller for taking GPS & compass reading compute the required heading & control the steering servo.

    How I landed up selecting a glider as the Airframe?
    I have an engine powered glider which I started learning with & still love to watch it go 1000ft+. The glider has only elevator and rudder as control surfaces. Due to its polyhedral wing shape, it is very stable in air. One day I was teaching my friend to fly that glider. He was always turning more than what he wanted to. I told him not to just leave the rudder to neutral on finishing the turn, but to give some rudder input in the direction opposite to that of turn direction, as soon as he finishes the turn. That excess turning was due the wing banked and what the opposite rudder input did was to bring the wings level. What I realized at that moment was that the bank angle has some relation to yaw rate. In short, by monitoring the yaw rate, you can have control over the bank angle. I have a FUTABA GY240 gyro which I use for making my robots go straight. I decided to do a small experiment by putting the gyro on the glider in rate mode to sense yaw rate and cancel if any. It was a very simple experiment and what I had to do was just to connect the gyro in between the receiver and rudder servo, mount it properly on fluselage and test fly. With a gain of 60% on the Gyro, the glider flew satisfactorily and now it was automatically bringing the wing level as I released the rudder, which was not happening previously. This solved the Roll axis stabilization problem. For Pitch control I decided to select altitude as the reference and airspeed as reference for throttle control.
  • Hey guys! I'm working on a high-altitude glider consisting of mostly off-the-shelf hardware. In a nutshell, the glider is carried to near space (65,000ft+) by a weather balloon where it cuts free and begins it's descent. Then it begins to autonomously navigate back to the landing zone, collecting data and photos along the way. Waypoints and autopilot code can be changed on the fly by the ground control software. The onboard control system consists of a Gumstix w/Robostix along with some custom-built hardware to interface with sensors and communications systems. The custom autopilot is highly modular which allows it to be easily adapted to different hardware configurations. Nearly all code is written in Ruby simply because it is much easier to work with than ASM or C. I believe that the benefits of Ruby outweigh the performance cost associated with using an interpreted language.

    The Nitromodels 63" Predator is currently acting as a test platform, but I am fairly certain that it won't be able to stand up to the stresses required for a high altitude mission. I will need to build a custom airframe unless I manage to find one that's up to the job.

    The ground control software is primarily a Ruby on Rails server which integrates with Google Earth, allowing for ridiculously easy 3D mission control and visualization. Anyone with an internet connection can watch the missions play out live in Google Earth. All data and images will be available to the public the moment they are received from the glider.

    I'll be posting photos, diagrams, schematics, and code on my blog as things move along. I expect to be making a few low altitude test launches in the coming months, followed by the real deal early in the summer.
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