I need a history lesson. How did we get here?

Hey all.  I'd like to know the history of how we arrived where we are today with these Drones.  What were the key moments in hobby Drone history.

Like...who and when did they make:

-The FIRST Multi-Rotor

-The FIRST GPS enabled unit.

-The FIRST Arduino board for a drone

-And any other firsts you can think of.


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  • Devices like drones can do a lot. I read a lot about them. They are also very useful in the field of national defense. They were actually designed for a long time and there were similar models before.
  • They have recently appeared and have already shocked the whole world!
  • "What were the key moments in hobby Drone history." Let's see how long this post lasts. It is 100% fact so follow the links if you doubt any of it. 


    I'd say Paparazzi was definitely the World First Open Source and Hobby autopilot in any measure. First to fly fixed and multirotor (Lisa/L). First to fly self navigated using IMU attitude sensing. First open source. FWIW: They still are the only ones that publish not just the designs, the complete source code, but also the Bill of Materials Parts list with part numbers. Building your own is still encouraged and 100% supported.


    Paparazzi Project Started in early 2000s (2002/2003). Their orig. website is still online (see below).


    More Facts/Firsts: 

    First Arduino Based Autopilot: Paparazzi Arduino based (yes, first Paparazzi controller was Arduino) was circa 2003. Website from that era is still online here: http://www.nongnu.org/paparazzi/gallery_v0.html 


    First dual processor hobby autopilot (Classix had dual LPC2148, an Overo Gumstix headers and is still supported). 


    First to support multi-uav (TCAS logic).


    First Quadrotor: Paparazzi Quadrotor (Antoine Druin/ENAC) was circa 2005. 

    That first autopilot had GPS, IR attitude sensing, and autonomous self-navigation. From the orig. site: "The aircraft is able to perform autonomous takeoff ( hand-launch or bungee ), accurately follow a flight plan and even do some sort of rough landing. At any time it is switchable to manual or assisted control, for example to increase landing precision"


    Just in case people are wondering Paparazzi is still very much alive and well. The ENAC team won the IMAV2012 (again) with their latest multirotor controller what has the processor, IMU on the same board 35mm x 35mm. More on NavGo here: http://paparazzi.enac.fr/wiki/NavGo_v3


    More info here: http://paparazzi.enac.fr/wiki/Wall_of_Record

    and here: http://www.nongnu.org/paparazzi/overall.html

    Take note "DIY" play on wording in the title of the page above. Making the term Do It Yourself UAV up back in 2003.

    Anyone who speaks for the whole hobby UAV community must mention Paparazzi. It's like talking relativity without mentioning Einstein. 

    Paparazzi: Gallery V0
  • Moderator
    Heres the first quad http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Bothezat_helicopter

    Will follow this thread with interest as I would like to fill the sUAS News FB timeline with more info.


    The Paparazzi project would have to sit high in your list along with RCAP they both happened pre Arduino.

    Also you must add Jack Crossfires work, to my mind several high profile projects have leant heavily on his work.

    Oh the list is endless I will let others carry on.
This reply was deleted.


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