Bill Piedra
  • Male
  • Manchester, CT
  • United States

Bill Piedra's Friends

  • Loic
  • Doron
  • Yuriy Sklyar
  • Adrian Ong
  • Marcus Cavallo
  • iftikhar khan
  • iSkyMaster
  • Richard Ladwig
  • Simon L.
  • Airbot
  • elon fredriksen
  • Ed Elias
  • dhiraj
  • David Viaene
  • Tersus GNSS

Bill Piedra's Groups

Bill Piedra's Discussions

3D Printed Drone Frame for companion computers and sensors

Started this discussion. Last reply by Coby Jun 9, 2017. 11 Replies

You can build this frame in a day using a 3D printer and a few carbon fiber tubes,  The frame is lightweight and was designed to carry a variety of companion computers and other sensors.  Fully…Continue

DJI Matrice 100 Developer Drone with X3 Camera + Thermal Camera, Manifold Computer, Guidance Obstacle Avoidance

Started May 3, 2017 0 Replies

I have for sale a DJI Matrice 100 equipped with the DJI Guidance System, X3 4K camera/gimbal and Manifold Computer.  This drone is DJI's developer platform. The system includes the M100, Radio,…Continue

DJI Matrice 100 with X3 Camera, Guidance and Manifold Computer - $4500

Started May 1, 2017 0 Replies

I have for sale a DJI Matrice 100 equipped with the DJI Guidance System, X3 4K camera/gimbal and Manifold Computer. This drone is in excellent condition and I'm selling it because I'm upgrading to to…Continue

Tags: Manifold, X3, Guidance, 100, Matrice

Thermal Camera Works in Mission Planner HUD

Started this discussion. Last reply by Bill Piedra Oct 24, 2016. 6 Replies

 A Low Cost, Open Source Streaming Thermal CameraWe've come up with a simple, low cost, open source streaming thermal camera that runs on Raspberry Pi. The system is based on the SEEK Thermal Camera…Continue


Bill Piedra's Page

Latest Activity

Bill Piedra left a comment for Loic
"Hi Loic - can you contact me at my regular email address - for more information.   I've attached a standard sell sheet regarding this system.   Also, I now work full time.  I'm lead engineer at…"
Jul 18, 2019

Profile Information

About Me:
Software developer with 25+ years experience. Both windows and macintosh - Visual Basic, C#, C++, Objective C, SQL, amongst others.
Please tell us a bit about your UAV interest
Hobbyist - have been into RC planes for a long time. Just started with multicopters and am very interested in autonomous flight - both planes and multirotors.

Bill Piedra's Blog

Optical Drone Swarming - Dobby with Snapdragon Flight & AprilTags

Posted on July 25, 2017 at 10:30am 3 Comments

This is an example of a swarm that only uses OpenCV and AprilTags for Navigation.  It was very cleverly executed by Zerotech, the makers of the Dobby drone, which uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon Flight Controller.   This swarm uses AprilTags on a mat on the ground and moves around by locating tags on the included mat.

No GPS -…


VTOL Anaconda built for Tyler Perry

Posted on July 14, 2016 at 9:57am 19 Comments

I built this VTOL Anaconda for Tyler Perry and the new TV Series, DRONED, which will air on July 22 at 6:00pm on the Science Channel.   

This plane was built from a Ready Made RC Anaconda.  This model has both…


FAA Interpretation of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft - Time Running Out for Comments on

Posted on July 10, 2014 at 1:30pm 8 Comments

If you haven't already posted, time is running out for public comments on   Please post your comments now.…


Comment Wall (10 comments)

At 4:13am on August 14, 2015, Laser said…
At 4:29am on August 14, 2015, Laser said…

I've seen your picture   about  x8 and talon .  So  i want to do it  .Are you give me some advise  or some  picture . Thank you  .

PS: My English is not very good.

At 8:29am on September 12, 2016,
Bill Piedra

Hi Jay,  

I was able to make the Seek Camera work several ways.  The simplest was via a Python script, but the max performance you can get with Python and Raspberry Pi is about 5 frames per second.  I'd be more than happy to share the scripts that I used with you.  

To get full performance out of the Seek I used ROS and a compiled C++ program.  The benefit of ROS (Robot Operating System) is that it includes plugins that I used to stream the images.  The example I showed in the video uses the ROS MJPEG streamer which produces a low bandwidth stream that can be received on the ground via WiFi.

Right now I'm working on a much more polished version of the software which will include a ground station client for Android and iOS.  We're also working on developing a version of the software that will support the new Seek Thermal Pro, which is a new 320x240 resolution version of the seek sensor.   Both the new client and new sensor support will be included in a crowdfunding campaign we plan to launch shortly.  

If you would like the software we're using with Pi 3 today, I can send you an SD card that would include a full ROS install, and all of the dependencies required to support the camera for $100.  When we're done with the new client and  improved version of the sensor software, I can also give you that as a free upgrade.  (I'd just want the cost of another SD card and postage).  

Let me know if that works for you and I can make up an SD card for you and put it in the mail today.


At 5:02pm on September 12, 2016, Marc Dornan said…
Hi Bill,

Is what you are using on the Pi 3 compatible with what you sent me for the Odroid? Can you believe I have not yet put it in the air. I have been working with a very expensive flir. I still want to do this. Do you have revised firmware?

Hope you are well.

At 5:16pm on September 12, 2016,
Bill Piedra

We've been tinkering with simultaneous RGB and Thermal cameras, but displaying both images side by side is a little taxing on the Pi's processor.  We haven't given up on it yet, but our early experiments haven't really worked.  

I can send you an invoice via paypal if you give me your address. 

Marc - the Pi 3 software is different than the Odroid, so it would require a different build of the software.  The software itself is identical, but the operating systems and kernel are different.  

At 5:27pm on September 12, 2016, Marc Dornan said…
Got it so no real advantage to gettingva Pi3 then?
At 5:29pm on September 12, 2016,
Bill Piedra

The only advantage to the Pi 3 is that it consumes less power, so it can fly with a smaller battery.  The Odroid is a little faster, but uses a lot more power.

At 11:56pm on October 20, 2016, Ayesha Ziky said…
Hi Mr. Bill, I'm interested with your script for installing Seek thermal camera to FlytOS and thermal imaging display in MP HUD. Can you share the script for me ? Please. I need that for my research developing firefighting autonomous drone. This is my email :
At 8:41am on October 24, 2016,
Bill Piedra

It's not so much a script,, but a ROS Topic on FlytOS.  I could write something up for with links to the source code (which you'll have to compile) but that might take a while.  You can also make it run with a python script, but I found the python version runs too slow (only 5-6fps) to be useful.   

How familiar are you with ROS, and are you comfortable compiling C++.  

The ROS build that I'm working with streams the image as MJPEG, which is easy to display in the mission planner HUD.  

At 8:56am on October 24, 2016, Ayesha Ziky said…
Hmm, i need the link please. for me 5fps is enough for detecting heat signal. I already get connected the Seek thermal camera and shown the temperature of an object but it has no display stream.

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