February 2008 Blog Posts (30)

ArduBlimp (minimum Blimp) V1

Finally we have the final version of the first prototype of ArduBlimp, wells know as the "Minimun Blimp".


* Hold altitude with PING))) sensor...

* Fly around the infrared beacon...

* Use Arduino Lilypad, for low power consumption ...

Some High res… Continue

Added by Jordi Muñoz on February 28, 2008 at 1:30pm — 1 Comment

3D Robotics
Getting ready to debut the Minimum Blimp UAV at TED

Tomorrow Jordi and I will give everyone at the TED conference in Monterey the first public preview of the Minimum Blimp UAV. I did the design and Jordi did all the work!

Jordi has more detail in his post… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on February 28, 2008 at 1:30pm — 3 Comments

3D Robotics
Interview: UNAV's Dave Perry on the PicoPilot autopilot

If you want an autopilot for less than $1,000 today you only have two choices: Do it Yourself or buy a PicoPilot (Dean Goedde's AttoPilot isn't out yet). The PicoPilot, which has been out since 2003, is small, light, and simple, and comes in varieties that range from simple one-axis rudder control to barometrically controlled elevator and/or throttle (prices… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on February 26, 2008 at 11:30pm — 4 Comments

3D Robotics
Lego GPS Autopilot code now less buggy!

For those of you interested in building a Lego Mindstorms UAV, two updates:

1) I've improved the RobotC code for the Bluetooth GPS version, in which I caught a lot of bugs. If you were having trouble with it before, download it again and see how it works.

2) At an event in April (can't say more than that), I'll be unveiling the next version of the… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on February 25, 2008 at 12:30am — 1 Comment

Well it has taken me about a month but I think I finally have a plan!

Well it has taken me about a month but I think I finally have a plan for a UAV.

Please excuse my childlike MS Paint style diagrams! This is what I would like it to be able to do. It is using in the BASIC… Continue

Added by Scott James on February 23, 2008 at 10:00pm — 5 Comments

New Concept

Ok bear with me here because i have no drawings or diagrams. Basically this is a device designed [thought up] to transmit or receive or tranceive (im not sure how to spell it). Basically this will transmit information about your aircraft from speed to altitude to lat-long basically this is connected to a receiver attached to an OLED screen so you wear it on your wrist and get all of your information on your wrist instead of a ground station in a big van thats wasting gas. If it happens to be a… Continue

Added by rad man on February 23, 2008 at 2:00pm — 11 Comments



Build an airframe to be able to travel aprox 900 miles.

Use a ENT pnd as the controller and gps platform.

Comunicate with the UAV via cellphone modem to laptop.

Use Google Earth as the mapping and position indicator.

Photograph the area of interest storing info on board UAV to be downloaded when recovered.


Using a SMD Accipiter Badius as a basis,enlarge the airframe by 2.5 times.

Using a weedeater motor, centre… Continue

Added by ian powell on February 22, 2008 at 7:17am — 3 Comments

BS2p auto pilot under microsoft flight sim 2004

I simulated the bs2p under msfs last night . i programed a waypoint in marysville ,wa ,engaged auto around sea-tac airport, it took an east heading ,flew over the cascades into eastern washington then did a 180 flew to around mt rainer then headed east agian then i think my batteries died and it drifted… Continue

Added by crystal garris on February 19, 2008 at 9:40am — No Comments

3D Robotics
New autopilot/IMU board from SparkFun

Some of you may have noticed that for quite a while SparkFun has been listing a "UAV Development Platform - ET312 + IMU" that's always been out of stock. I backordered one out of curiosity last year, and pretty much forgot about it. Then, last week, SparkFun called and said that… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on February 18, 2008 at 4:00pm — 19 Comments

3D Robotics
Minimum Blimp UAV bench testing

Jordi and I have been hard at work on the Minimum Blimp UAV and things are coming together nicely. Here are some videos:

First, a test of the Ping))) sensor that we're using for altitude hold. Don't you love the tray-table simulation platform? ;-) The Ping))) sensors are strapped to the far end of the… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on February 18, 2008 at 2:30pm — No Comments

3D Robotics
Demo of a failsafe board for the Basic Stamp autopilot

In an earlier post, I discussed the importance of having a redundant failsafe board so you can regain control in the advent (likelyhood!) of an autopilot failure. Basically, what that board does is sits in-between your autopilot, RC receiver and servos. You switch it between… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on February 18, 2008 at 12:30pm — 11 Comments

3D Robotics
GPS simulation with Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004

We love FlightGear and all that it stands for, but the truth is that it's a bit complicated for beginners. For the rest of us, there's the old stand-by, Microsoft Flight simulator. There's a free plug-in for MS Flight Simulator 2004 called… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on February 17, 2008 at 10:36pm — 4 Comments

Short Range I.R. Radar

Basically here is the site it is a short range inferred radar that could be used for a failsafe in case your uav gets close to the ground. However it is slightly bulky but that can be easily modified because it was made for parking cars. This includes a servo with an inferred transceiver or receiver and transmitter separate, i haven't really looked into it very far. If you are board and want to serf the web go to "… Continue

Added by rad man on February 16, 2008 at 6:30pm — 17 Comments

3D Robotics
How college Blimp UAV contests work

The main existing US Blimp UAV competition is the Indoor Aerial Robot Competition (IARC) held every year since 2005 at Drexel University in Phladelphia.

The contest is designed mostly as an exercise in remote control, both human and computer. The blimps appear to be all RC, with wireless cameras… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on February 16, 2008 at 11:00am — 1 Comment

3D Robotics
Blimp UAV update: Minimum and Maximum versions

We've forked the Blimp UAV into two projects, a minimum and a maximum one. The maximum one is the one that's using the NorthStar "synthetic GPS" directional system and all sorts of other goodies to be a real indoor UAV, with full room sense and navigation ability. That's moving… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on February 16, 2008 at 12:00am — 16 Comments

3D Robotics
Some upgrades/changes to the site

As some of you know, this site is based on the Ning platform, and they've just rolled out some changes. Relevent parts for us include:

--Mass Uploader for Photos, Videos, and Music/Podcasts

You'll now be able to upload up to 100 photos, 30 videos or 100 songs/podcasts in one fell swoop. That's not to say that adding all of this stuff won't take forever, but go grab a snack or five and you'll be all set.

--Blog "Improvements" - Round 1

Frankly, this is a… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on February 15, 2008 at 10:34am — No Comments

added duct to coaxial rotor

Big improvement in stability with the addition of a simple duct made from a sheet of 2.5mm RCF (extruded polystyrene) foam from rcfoam.com. The RCF is similar to depron that was recommended by another forum member, but somewhat more flexible and higher density. I was able to bend the RCF sheet to a 12-inch diameter, while a similar thickness depron sheet broke when bending.

There is some yaw rotation at the beginning of the clip, but you can… Continue

Added by Howard Gordon on February 13, 2008 at 12:31pm — 7 Comments

3D Robotics
Dealing with different GPS versions

Another advantage of GPS simulation: you get to discover horrible glitches in the matrix, such as the inconvenient fact that GPS comes in different dialects, each of which requires different parsing. I found this out when my GPS parser was working with the simulator, but not the real EM406. The problem turned out to be that the simulator outputs GPS time as… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on February 12, 2008 at 10:00pm — 10 Comments

3D Robotics
Why you MUST simulate before flying

I've had a couple people ask why there's such an emphasis here on GPS simulation. The simple answer is "Because we don't want to lose our UAVs!" With regular robots, when they've got bugs or software crashes, you just pick them up and fix the problem. With UAVs, they're likely to fly away forever or end up in a pile of pieces. They're more like satellites or Mars rovers than battlebots--you can't fix them from the ground, and when they go wrong in the air, it can be catastrophic.

One… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on February 9, 2008 at 8:30pm — 5 Comments

99th Blog Post!

Alright i get the 99th blog post or 100th. I might have lost count but ill let the next person have the 100th. I want to start out by saying congratulations guys this is a very successful site with 500+ people and still growing. We all owe Chris Anderson one for making this site!. Um tha the tha tha that thats all folks!

Added by rad man on February 9, 2008 at 3:14pm — 1 Comment

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