Sue Rosenstock's Posts (21)

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Farewell flash sale for the RTF Quad


If you've been waiting for the right opportunity to start or expand your drone reserve, now's the time.

Next week, we'll be bidding a fond farewell to our RTF Quad to make room for exciting new products (like IRIS). To send off our Quad in high style, we'll be offering a $200 discount while supplies last. Now through Friday, March 7, at noon, PST, you can purchase the 3DR RTF Quad for only $700! Please note that the 2014 Quad Kit frame as well as the Quad Kit with electronics will still be available after we sunset the RTF Quad.

The 3DR Quad is a sturdy and flexible copter, capable of flying true, autonomous missions. Powered by Pixhawk, our industry-leading autopilot, the Quad accommodates a GoPro HERO, making it an ideal platform for capturing breathtaking aerial imagery.

Click here to order your 3DR Quad today.

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We first discovered Stephen Dade on Stephan was celebrating his second build-your-own-quadcopter workshop in Canberra, Australia. These workshops have proven exceptionallly popular. “I only had 12 spots available in this workshop, all of which filled up within 48 hours,” said Stephen. “I think this demonstrates the massive interest in multicopters.”

Stephen first started flying personal drones back in early 2011. Looking for kindred spirits to share his hobby, he and a few others (including Andrew Tridgell, an APM_Plane developer) formed the CanberraUAV team to compete in the Outback UAV Challenge (OBC). “We had enormous fun developing the various systems for the UAV and ended up coming in first place in the 2012 OBC - not bad for a first time team!” Since then, the CanberraUAV team has branched out into other areas of the UAV community.

Stephen got the idea for running the workshops just over a year ago at his local makerspace in Canberra. At one of their meetups, “someone mentioned that it would be a really cool idea if someone would run a how-to-build-a-quadcopter workshop,” recalls Stephen. “As I was the local “quadcopter expert,” everyone turned to me. I have really enjoyed teaching the workshops and love seeing the excited look on everyone’s faces during their first flight.”

Most of the students so far have had technical backgrounds. “I have quite a few programmers and software engineers. Very few have ever used a UAV before, although they’ve seen me and a few others flying and fixing them.”

Given the liberal regulatory environment around commercial drone usage in Australia under CASA (the Civl Aviation Safety Authority), Stephen is having no trouble attracting new students. “At the moment, it’s just a hobby - I tend to run only a couple of them per year. I do have some rough plans to run courses in other parts of Australia. I’ll see where this takes me over the next couple of years and take it from there.”

We were delighted to hear that Stephen use 3DR technology in his workshops. “I use the 3DR flight controllers, GPS and telemetry systems for the “brains” of the quadcopters. There’s a few reasons why I use them: the constant development and improvement by the development team, community support, wide compatibility with almost any airframe and safety features (the numerous failsafes and RTL mode).”

Stay tuned for updates on Stephen's popular workshops. You can keep up with Stephen's UAV-related activities and adventures right here on

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3689572837?profile=originalWe are pleased to introduce our updated Quad, Y6, X8. Each of our new copters is built to support a Tarot brushless gimbal and GoPro HERO camera, providing an ideal platform for stable, jello-free imagery. These robust and flexible copters can take off and land anywhere.

Our new copters have been redesigned from the ground up to offer increased lifting power, enhanced flight time and greater responsiveness. Each of our aircrafts features Pixhawk, our most advanced autopilot system yet., as well as precise GPS navigation, built-in advanced processor and sensor technology from ST Microelectronics® and a NuttX real-time operating system. The result is incredible performance, flexibility, and reliability for autonomous flight.

All of our ready-to-fly copters arrive fully configured. Just unfold the arms and legs, attach the propellers, charge your battery, and you're ready to fly.

Open and flexible, our copters provide the ideal platform for simple enjoyment or innovative applications. Happy flying!

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Fly high with big sales on 3DR copters


We’re updating some of our most popular RTF copters. This means big savings to you on our current models.

To make room for new inventory, we’re offering a deep discount on our Y6 and Quad, starting on Monday, Jan. 27, at 11 a.m., PST, and ending on Friday, Jan. 31, at midnight, PST. Products are available while supplies last.

Get $120 off the 3DR Quad: The lightweight quadcopter is ideal for the drone enthusiast who wants flexible, robust features at affordable pricing. Buy now.

Get $160 off the 3DRY6: Dubbed the workhorse, the lightweight frame with redundant propellers provides powerful lifting and maximum versatility. With wide-set, foldable arms, the Y6 offers expansive viewing and easy portability.Buy now.

Happy Flying!

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We are thrilled to announce that 3D Robotics/Chris Anderson has been selected as a Hardware Startup finalist for the 2013 Crunchies Awards, co-hosted by GigaOm, TechCrunch and VentureBeat. This marks the seventh annual competition celebrating the top technology innovations of the year.

We've got some stiff competition, so we strongly encourage you to vote early and vote often (well, once a day) now through Jan. 26th. And tell your friends too!

Why wait? Start voting now.

Photo credit: TechCrunch

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Come fly with us at 3DR


Want to help launch the next gen of UAV technology? Come join the 3DR team! We’re looking for a seasoned test engineer to work in our San Diego office.

If you have at least three years of experience implementing and overseeing test processes for the full lifecycle of hardware and software product development, we want to hear from you. Check out our careers page for this and other job listings.

Don’t see anything that fits your unique skills, but still think you belong on our team? Email us at, and tell us why we need to hire you. We’re growing fast and searching for top talent.

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We are always delighted to share news about the great work our friends over at are undertaking to support ecological study and endangered habitat preservation using UAV technology.

While many of us were hitting the malls in search of last-minute holiday gifts, the Conservation Drones team embarked on a 72-hour drone challenge with the goal of building ten working drones, powered by 3DR autopilots and wireless data technology, for the Worldwide Fund for NatureAs always, the team achieved their ambitious goal with passion to spare.

We spent two days completing the builds and another day to flight-test their aircraft,” said Dr. Lian Pin Koh, one of's founders and directors. “These drones will be going to Nepal, India and Thailand to help capture aerial footage and assist with anti-poaching applications.”

Get a behinds the scenes view of how the Conservation Drones team spent three days building and testing drones to prevent wildlife poaching in South Asia.

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If you're a seasoned project manager with experience leading cross-functional engineering teams, we want to hear from you.

In this business-critical role, you'll oversee all phases of product development for multicopters and fixed wing vehicles, as well as electronic systems for autopilot, mission planning and vehicle control. If you've got at least 5 years of relevant experience and an undergrad or grad degree in engineering, come join the 3DR -- San Diego team!

Check out our careers site for this and other great opportunities.

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3689564718?profile=originalThere’s an extra jingle in the air with 3D Robotics’ holiday deals. Now through Thursday, Jan. 2 at 3 p.m., PST, get great deals on some our most popular products.

$40 off APM 2.6 with GPS and 3DR Radio
The APM 2.6 is a powerful open source autopilot system that can transform any fixed wing or multirotor aircraft into a fully autonomous vehicle. With the APM 2.6, you can launch reliable and repeatable GPS missions with virtually unlimited waypoints from your Android smartphone or tablet. Buy it now

$50 off a the 3DR DIY Quad Kit + Electronics
This DIY kit contains everything you need to build a lightweight Quadcopter. Ideal for the enthusiast who wants a full-featured autonomous vehicle at an affordable price. Plan missions from your Android tablet or smart phone. Attach a camera to capture breathtaking aerial imagery. Buy it now

$150 off the 3DR X8
Our most powerful personal drone, the X8 features eight motors and propellers for maximum strength and stability. Ideal for heavy payloads and high winds, the wide-set arms ensure unobstructed high-quality video imaging. Buy it now

From all of us at 3DR, may all your missions be merry!

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Now through Monday, Dec. 23, at 3 p.m., PST, get a drone’s eye view of your flight with 3DR's On Screen Display (OSD) kit with First Person View (FPV) monitor. You’ll enjoy a live video stream from your aircraft in addition to real-time mission data for a seamless flight experience!

This OSD bundle features everything you’ll need to outfit your vehicle with onboard video plus data transmission. The FPV monitor ensures a clear, crisp image even at a long range. Best of all, you won’t get the dreaded blue screen when the signal gets weak. Buy now for $374.49!

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Pixhawk is Ready for Takeoff

3689562888?profile=originalAfter months of rigorous testing, we are pleased to announce that our Pixhawk autopilot is now in production and ready to ship.

Designed by the PX4 open-hardware project and manufactured by 3D Robotics, Pixhawk delivers industry-leading performance and flexibility for controlling any autonomous vehicle.

Our new Pixhawk represents a significant improvement over our standard APMs, offering enhanced reliability, robust power, a broad range of USB power options and a second sensor port – for a dual IMU system. The second sensor chip not only provides redundancy, but enables the combination of different sensor inputs.

This release follows months of beta-testing by the IRIS-Developer community.  Based on their feedback, we improved the noise immunity of the power supplies and added the MPU 6000 to supplement the LSM303D accelerometer.

We are grateful to the community for their valuable feedback.

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Build your personal dream drone for less!

3689561213?profile=originalTo make your holidays more uplifting, 3DR will be bringing you sweet deals on some of our most popular items now through the first week of January. Each week, we’ll offer a new selection, available while supplies last. Don’t miss out! Follow @3DRobotics on Twitter, #3DRHoliday.

Today through Monday, Dec. 9, you’ll get $50 off two of our most popular DIY drone kits:

  • Get a 3DR DIY Quad Kit + Electronics for $375.99
  • Get a 3DR DIY Y6 + Electronics for $489.00

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3DR's IRIS is now available for pre-order

3689560419?profile=original3D Robotics is now taking pre-orders for IRIS — our first personal drone developed with the consumer in mind. IRIS delivers powerful performance at affordable prices.

Flexible and robust, IRIS can fly missions from an Android smart phone or tablet for true autonomous flight. Built to accommodate a GoPro camera, IRIS will capture awesome aerial imagery for consumer enjoyment or business applications.

Here are just some of IRIS’ top features:

  • This isn’t an RC aircraft – this is a serious, autonomous drone
  • Iris offers virtually unlimited way points for repeatable missions
  • Designed to work with GoPro, IRIS captures great photos every time
  • Five unique flight modes
  • Our open-source software enables boundless innovation

Purchase your IRIS now for shipment in late December. Sorry, the IRIS may not arrive in time for Christmas.

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Eying the Mouth of a Volcano

3689558912?profile=originalAaron Curtis always loved science, especially the “big-picture” stuff, like geology and space science. After attending high school in Brazil and Sweden (his father is a diplomat), Aaron received his undergraduate degree from Cambridge University. That’s where he discovered his passion for volcanoes. A member of the Cambridge University Caving Club, Aaron devoted his spare time and summers to studying volcanoes, caves and electronic instrumentation.

When we learned that Aaron was using 3DR technology to track volcanic activity, we were duly awed. What an extraordinary use case for UAV technology! Ordinarily, a scientist would need to hire a piloted helicopter to obtain imagery for data analysis. Using a drone proved not only far safer and more economical, but also more versatile, capturing imagery and other data a piloted helicopter would not dare.

3DR had the opportunity to speak with Aaron, virtually (he’s currently en route to Antarctica), to learn more about his remarkable research.


How are you using UAV technology?

I should start by explaining that there are two main applications for multirotors on Erebus Volcano. The first is for securing visual data and sensing gas in the active crater. The second is autonomous mapping and sensing of the volcano’s fumarolic ice caves. This clip from a BBC documentary highlights some of the work I did with my field assistant Nial Peters.

Based on my experience at Erebus, I was later invited to provide “air support” for a group of volcanology students working on Villarrica volcano. Villarrica, like Erebus, has a lava lake. Unlike Erebus, the lake surface is usually several hundred meters down in the conduit, so it can’t be seen by people on the volcano’s crater rim. To see the lava, you must fly over the active vent. I was able to film the lava from a quadrotor and demonstrate that a lava crust covered most of the lake, which has important implications for gas and seismic studies of the volcano.

The Volcanofiles recently applied for a National Geographic grant. If the application is successful, I will go out there and take UAV video and gas measurements at the top of five active volcanoes.


Why did you decide to focus on this particular research area? 

When I was an undergrad, I spent three summers volunteering with the Cambridge University Caving Club exploring the Austrian Alps, where we discovered and mapped caves no human had ever before entered. But we ran into a problem. We would often discover large openings that extended vertically upwards out of view. Using traditional means, it would have been extremely difficult to view these. So I began to research the use of R/C blimps and later quadrotors.

My professor Clive Oppenheimer told me about some unmapped, barely studied volcanic ice caves on Erebus Volcano, so I then applied to New Mexico Tech’s graduate program to help map and instrument these ice caves as a PhD project with Philip Kyle. The technical aspects of this project were incredibly challenging and rewarding. It fell to me to design and build systems to monitor airflow, humidity, temperature, gas content, etc., while mapping the caves.

One of the major obstacles we encountered is that we could not access the lake directly. It’s considered too dangerous, since it has bomb-throwing eruptions several times a day. I began to work on a multirotor system that could fly down to the lake to collect images and sense gas concentrations. Last year, I did the first test flights over the Erebus crater, and this year I will fly most of the way down to the lake while collecting gas data.


How does the use of drones improve safety and the quality of the data you collect?

Using multirotors for the fumarolic ice cave work will allow us to obtain 3D models / maps of caves that humans cannot enter for various reasons. Chief among these is that some of the caves on Erebus have high levels of volcanic gas (up to 3% CO2) and make it unsafe for humans to enter. A second reason is that they are unique microbiological habitats and human entry can contaminate these pristine ecosystems.

Developing multirotors for sensing active volcanic vents, such as the Erebus lava lake, will allow us to obtain data when we want it most: during periods of unrest and increased activity where direct human exploration would be impossible.


What are your long-term aspirations, and how will drones be a part of it?

I hope to make UAV technology available for a wide range of earth sciences. Although my UAV work so far has been in applications relating to speleology, volcanology and forestry, I think there are important applications in every discipline of earth science. And I find it thrilling to be able to apply this exciting new technology in novel ways. That’s why I started AfterFlight. I intend to make it useful for analyzing various types of scientific data collected by UAVs. Whether I’m working in a national lab, university or corporate setting, that’s where I’d like to focus. It’s not just about flying UAVs in new places, but developing new methods for interpreting collected data.

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3689558066?profile=original“Accelerating the “aha” moment” is the name of the game at the annual Defrag Conference, which brings together some of the “best thinkers, builders and starters” to showcase internet-based tools that “transform information into layers of knowledge.”

Among the great thinkers and builders at this year’s conference was our own Brandon Basso. Brandon demoed our copters and delivered a keynote presentation on “Closed-Loop Farming,” explaining how aerial imaging is enabling more efficient and targeted data gathering for monitoring and managing crops.

Using drones, farmers can quickly and easily gather visual data to assess the health of their crops. In addition, they can use near-infrared mapping to get more detailed information that they could obtain from unassisted visual analysis. The means they can target treatment to the crops that specifically require it, rather than applying a seasonally-driven one-size-fits-all model – an approach known as precision agriculture.  Given that farmers lose roughly $25B a year through improper irrigation, insects and weeds, the potential return on investment is significant.

"It's great to participate in a conference like Defrag where we have the ability to interact with the broader tech community,” said Brandon. “Everyone has a genuine interest in making the world a better place through their respective industries, from precision agriculture to augmented reality. Hats off to Eric and Kim Norlin, and all the speakers and participants for another great Defrag!"

Our kudos to Brandon for creating an “Aha moment” around the evolution of UAV technology for agricultural applications.

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3D Robotics is searching for a PCB Designer



We're looking for a PCB Designer to join our growing team. This position is located in our San Diego office. 

In this role, you will be responsible for contributing to the design, development and testing of new products for 3D Robotics. You will use your engineering expertise and design skills to create functional and aesthetically pleasing products while working as an integral member of a multi-disciplinary team at 3D Robotics. You will be designing the latest generation of UAV autopilots and implement the most advance sensors in the market.

For more details, check out our career center.

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Introducing the New 3DR Radio


We’re pleased to announce our new 3DR Radio. Featuring interchangeable air and ground modules (both with native USB connectors), Android tablet compatibility, and a protective case, our new radio delivers unparalleled ease of use for viewing in-flight data, changing missions on the fly, and tuning.

Quite a bit of work went into the new radio design. Our first version was simply a carrier board for the radio module, providing a power supply, an antenna connector and a way to connect to the autopilot or the computer. Our new radio provides an EMI shield over the radio module, EMI filtering chips on all power and signal lines, USB and autopilot connectivity options on the same board, and an enclosure for protection and easy mounting.

Each Telemetry Kit comes with two modules, two antennas, and cables to connect to Pixhawk, APM, PX4, laptop, and Android tablet/phones.


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