Ronald Pandolfi's Posts (2)

Installing APM Planner 2.0 on Ubuntu 14.04LTS

DaVinci Challenge

As instructional materials designer for the DaVinci Challenge, I need to provide clear and concise guidance on all aspects of building and operating drones including preparing ground control systems. With Microsoft as a sponsor of the DaVinci Challenge, I usually start by encouraging installing Mission Planner or APM Planner 2.0 on Windows, despite the difficult of installing unsigned drivers on Windows 8. For those participants with a MAC, guidance is to install APM Planner 2.0. Inevitably, a few students will arrive with a Ubuntu 14.04 as the only operating system. I can't help but smile, because I prefer Linux over Windows, but it does mean extra effort to guide the students through a more complex install process.

So to smooth out the process, one of our Interns created a shell script that checks the version of Ubuntu, installs that latest version of APM Planner 2.0, and creates a desktop icon -- all with a single command.

We are making this available to the public via our Guthub  

DaVinci Challenge

Please let me know if you have any difficulty.

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Wildlife Conservation UAV Challenge

3689563902?profile=originalThe Wells Fargo Bank of Great Falls honored Princess Aliyah with a Community Partner Grant for her efforts in bringing the world together in a Challenge to save rhinos from extinction. Princess Aliyah is CEO of Kashmir Robotics and sponsor of the Wildlife Conservation UAV Challenge. Its goal is to develop UAVs optimized for protecting rhinos and other endangered species, and with over 100 Teams from over 20 countries and 6 continents participating in the Challenge, it is the world's largest distributed drone research project.

Kruger National Park in South Africa is the battleground in the fight to save rhinos from extinction, so the Princess took members of her Leadership Team deep into the battleground on a Fact Finding Mission during the full moon phase when the battle is most intense. Hosted by Major General (Ret.) Johan Jooste, Commander Special Projects SANParks, the Team received a morning briefing on the battle plan, then provided a short demonstration of Skate, a small UAV developed by Aurora Flight Sciences in Manassas, VA, reconfigured to help rangers more effectively engage poachers. Within minutes the Aurora Team began training Park rangers how to launch, operate, and recover Skate. Impressed with the simplicity of operation and quality of data, General Jooste requested the Princess bring Skate into the battle. Each night the Team traveled into remote regions of the Park and introduced UAVs for the first time in the struggle to stop poaching. From a remote army outpost on a hill near the border of Mozambique, Skate dove into a ravine, providing the first imagery every of this high risk area. From a Sector camp deep in the Park, Skate swooped low to provide imagery under a bridge where poachers pass during the night.


Registration for the Challenge is still open (www.wcuavc.com). Design concepts are due by Jan. 31, 2014.

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