Jeff Taylor's Posts (32)

Sort by

Event 38 Enters Startup Chile


I know I've been quiet for a while but now that I'm almost settled into my new international home I figured I'd let you all know what I'm up to. Thanks to all my early customers and of course Jordi Munoz and Chris Anderson, Event 38 has recently joined the accelerator Startup Chile! Startup Chile is a program started by the Chilean government to attract small businesses to Santiago in the hope that it will create an entrepreneurial hotspot.. a Chilecon Valley.

You'll notice that everything is out of stock right now at because I am also moving all production to Santiago temporarily. The long term will see a smaller US based office plus production internationally and potentially partnering with resellers to keep shipping prices low.

Look out for a new mapping plane in the next few months... cheaper, more rugged and easier to use!

If you're interested, check out my intro day slides I presented this morning to the other participants. Comments welcome!

Read more…

Mapping a Larger Area


I got a chance to make a larger map with the E382 a few weeks ago and I ran it through Agisoft Photoscan for the postprocessing.


Platform: E382

Camera: SX230 HS with CHDK

Mapping Time: 30 minutes

Flight Time: 33-34 minutes

Images used: 341

Processing Time: ~12 hours of computer time, <30 minutes operator time

Area covered: 350 acres, 1.41km2  –  1550 x 910m rectangle

Area measured with QGIS


3d DEM viewed in GlobalMapper


Always have to try out the global warming tool


The only tips I have for those mapping larger areas is to first of all make sure you're spacing your flight lines appropriately based on your altitude. You can find good data on how much ground area is covered per image from Krzysztof Bosak's ebook The Secrets of Aerial PhotoMapping. Be sure to run through the images once before you process them and remove the blurry ones. Also make sure you're taking plenty of pictures so that removing the blurry ones doesn't leave any gaps in coverage.

Read more…

Mapping with E382 and DroneMapper


I just wanted to share a mapping mission I ran last week with the E382 from Event 38 (my company) and processed with

The reason these results are somewhat noteworthy is the amount of time it took to make this. I pulled up to the flying field, setup the plane in maybe 5 or 6 minutes. I hand launched the plane, flew around manually for exactly 5 minutes, taking 110 pictures in that time. Brought it in for a quick landing in some bushes then I packed up and went home. At home I uploaded the images straight to DroneMapper without even reviewing them. A few hours later, DM came back with really awesome results. All of this took just a few minutes of my time not counting the drive to and from the field.

My setup on the E382 is as follows: 

- Skywalker 168cm Airframe

- APM 2.0 with ArduPlane 2.4

- 3DR Telemetry Radios 915MHz

- Canon Powershot SX230 HS with CHDK

The camera is really what made this so quick.. with built in GPS all the images are geotagged automatically as they're taken. This mission was actually done to see if it could keep a GPS lock for the entire flight which it did. Having the images geotagged and processing them with DroneMapper returns files that can be analyzed (as in the image above) for things like the elevation profile of any path, the length of a path, the area of a field and so on. There are nice tutorials on how to get started with that in the DroneMapper FAQ.

3689468999?profile=originalMeasuring the length of a trail

3689468939?profile=originalMeasuring the area of low lying vegetation


Extracting the coordinates of a point of interest

Read more…


UPDATE: They did it!!

For those of you awake right now, Spacex's Falcon 9 rocket with Dragon capsule will be launching from Cape Canaveral, Florida in less than an hour. If successful, this mission will see the first private spacecraft docking at the ISS. Check out the webcast and live text/video updates from SpaceFlightNow:

Dragon won't be docking with the ISS until Friday so don't wait up for it tonight. You'll see the Falcon 9 launch, taking just under 10 minutes to reach orbit at which point Dragon will separate from the second stage of the rocket. Depending on video Tx range, we may also get to see the solar arrays deploying (even the big guys have trouble with FPV!) After the video cuts out there should be a press conference discussing what happened and explaining any anomalies.

As a former SpaceX engineer, I'd be glad to answer any questions (on publicly available info) people have about the launch. Wish them luck!

Read more…


I’m pleased to announce the release of the first major product from Event 38, model E382, a Ready to Fly Photomapping UAS. Based on the APM 2.0, the E382 is designed to make aerial maps quickly and easily for those not interested in cutting, gluing and programming a plane from the basic components.

Let me start with a little background about myself. I’ve been involved with DIY Drones since 2009 when I worked on a turn-rate-limiter style project for Arduplane. I then spent a year working at SpaceX before moving to San Diego to join 3D Robotics last March. Now I’ve started Event 38 to bring the usefulness of APM-based UAS to a wider audience.

The basic kit consists of a ready to fly Skywalker V5 (168cm wingspan, 190cm wingspan upgrade available) with APM 2.0, motor, ESC and servos installed. APM is preloaded with the latest Arduplane release and a known good configuration file. This set of components together lets you skip all the uncertainties that invariably pop up when starting such a complicated project and gets you to the first flight right away!

Equipped with a small point and shoot camera, the E382 can make extremely detailed high-level maps from individual pictures stitched together. Even 3d terrain models can be made really easily using free services like hypr3d and soon, The image below was made with Hypr3d in about 25 minutes.


The fully built plane is available, to start, only in the US and Canada. Planes are in stock now and ready to ship immediately.

Check out the product page and please leave your comments on this thread, I’m eager to hear feedback from the DIY Drones community!

EDIT: See extra photos below:






Read more…

Arducopter Hexa 3DR Frame Now on Pre-Order!



The rugged Arducopter 3DR frame is now available in a Hexa version capable of supporting larger payloads and longer flight times. With the stock 850kV (purple) motors, a basic Hexa with ESCs, APM, GPS and an RC Receiver weighs in at 1356.3g and can lift more than its own weight.


This version supports a fancy new feature allowing easy access to the power distribution board. The entire stackup can be removed with thumb nuts to allow access to the central area between the base plates.






Lifting tests were performed with the following results:


Frame Weight: 1356.3g

Battery Weight (4S 5000mAh): 534.0g

Misc. Payload: 533.7g

All-Up Weight: 2424g

Flight Time in Hover: 12:10

Over 24 minutes endurance is possible in this configuration! (Using Misc Payload for a second battery)


Frame Weight: 1356.3g

Battery Weight (4S 5000mAh): 534.0g

Misc. Payload: 843.7g

All-Up Weight: 2734g

Flight Time in Hover: 10:00


Maximum Take-Off Weight Test Performed at 3190g


Tests with the larger motors are awaiting arrival of stock, expected around the end of February. You can order your kit with either motor set but the 880kV versions won't ship until February 29th. 850kV orders and orders without motors will ship next Friday, February 24th.


NEW TEST with the 880kV motors: (hovering in gusty winds)

Frame Weight: 1508g

Battery (4S 5000 mAh): 531.2g

Payload: 986.3g

Flight time: 10:17

All-Up Weight: 3025g

 -- only about 140g extra payload for the same duration flight but conditions were considerably more turbulent for the 880kV test flight

Frame Kit: $199.99

Frame + Motors: $419.99

Frame + Motors + Electronics: $649.99


Read more…

ArduCopter 3DR Shipping Today

3689422279?profile=originalToday we're making the first shipment of ArduCopter 3DR quads. When you receive your quad, check the product page for build instructions - I'll be adding it today. And don't be confused that you have a few too many parts. We decided to try to beat Murphy's law by including a few extra parts in each kit - an extra main frame, stack up, arm and leg.


There are still a few in stock right now. We'll get the next shipment of arms in a few days and after there will be plenty to go around!

Read more…

Announcing the ArduCopter 3DR Pre-order

3689421466?profile=originalDesigned in house by myself and Alan Sanchez, this new quad frame is designed to be rock solid in every way. The frame is constructed of Aluminum and fiberglass. We've made some changes to increase the amount of free space available for electronics and sensors. The legs are moved out to leave a clear field of view from cameras mounted beneath the body. The power distribution board is now sandwiched between the arms but the plugs are still easily accessible from the sides.

3689421348?profile=originalThe main frame has a hole pattern allowing you to mount APM in any orientation. The holes around the edges will fit the tilt/roll camera mount and the sonar mounting kit. The arms have a cutout in the end to route the cables through so they don't get pinched in a crash.

3689421492?profile=originalThe added strength doesn't compromise flight time. With a 4900mAh 3S Rhino battery pack which it easily lifted, I timed 17 minutes of hovering out of ground effect in steady winds of 5-8 knots. The video below was taken while carrying a 4900mAh battery.

The legs are also cut of fiberglass and can really take some abuse! This video will give you an idea of their strength.

Overall the quad handles very well and it feels nice and smooth to fly. I haven't modified any of the standard PID values on ACM to make these videos, the same values translate nicely to this quad because of the similar size and weight.

The kits are available at the usual price of $170 here: ArduCopter 3DR Frame Kit Preorder. The kit includes:

  • 2 Main frame boards
  • 4 Aluminum arms
  • 2 Carrier boards
  • Landing gear
  • Power distribution board, power cables and signal cables for PDB-APM
  • All hardware needed to assemble the components above


The kits will start shipping next Thursday, the first of September. We will hold your entire order until that day if you choose to buy one during the preorder.

Read more…

New ArduCopter Accessory - Tilt/Roll Cam Mount


For those of you who use a camera on ArduCopter there's a new accessory being added to the store today. It's a til-roll camera mount that stabilizes small cameras (up to about 75 grams) and keeps the image straight up and down while ArduCopter is maneuvering to maintain position and orientation. The kit is $20 and can be found here. Please note that the kit does not include a camera or servos! We recommend you use HS-55 servos or any other sub-micro servo in the same size. The kit does work out of the box with ArduCopter code - plug the servos in to channels 5 and 6 for automatic stabilization. Happy flying!





Read more…

3689397723?profile=originalAs you've all probably read in Chris' posts, DIY Drones/3D Robotics is growing fast. We're now at the point where we need to hire a full time Web Developer/Software Engineer to support the current website and upgrade the store to a better architecture as well as programming in Arduino to support new hardware development. Ideally, we would like someone who is as passionate about UAVs as we are, so we're turning to the community for the right person! If you have the skills listed below (or know someone that does), we want to hear from you! Competitive salary.


Desired skills:

-Some experience in databases.
-Experience with Zen Cart.
-Basic designer skill's and CSS.
-Networking and servers.
-Linux, Windows and Mac.
-Some Photoshop and photography (preferred).

Other skills in addition to the above:

- Strong teamwork and cooperative design skills.
- Self-motivated to learn and solve problems independently.
- RC/full-scale airplane or helicopter experience.
- C/C++ Programming and Arduino IDE...
- Strong technical writing skills preferred.
- Living near San Diego, CA or willing to relocate

For those of you who don't know me, I'm the newest addition to the 3d robotics team. I'm here to help get more new products into your hands faster. I can personally attest to the fun and exciting work environment at DIY Drones headquarters. Please forward your resumes to and don't hesitate to contact me personally if you have any questions. We look forward to hearing from you!

Read more…

SpaceX Falcon 9 Achieves Orbit!

SpaceX launched its brand new Falcon 9 rocket on Friday and the flight was a complete success! SpaceFlightNow has a great rundown of the whole sequence of events and some awesome pictures to go along with it (including the one above).

You can watch the official video on the SpaceX Website - listen for everyone cheering in the background whenever the announcer speaks. I was lucky enough to watch this launch live from the SpaceX headquarters and it was one of the most exciting and electric things I've ever seen. When there's this much fuel and power involved there's little room for error so seeing it fly away without a hitch was truly exhilarating!

Later when it flew over Australia many mistook it for a UFO : )

Read more…

Turn Rate Limiter Shield Preview

This is the first working version of turn rate limiter starting beta testing now!For those not familiar, this is a project aimed at providing a cheap, easy to use shield for beginners. It only requires this board and the ArduPilot main board to fly the plane, very simple!

I got only a mild version of Jordi fever, only the pressure sensor was affected :D

That gyro is so small!!!
Read more…