March 2008 Blog Posts (35)

New Wing for Missouri S&T UAV Team

Sorry about the lack of updates, we will be updating more frequently now. The first update being that we completed the new wing and completed the first flight with the new wing and it performed very well even in windy conditions. Unfortunately there are no pictures of the actual flight but here are some pictures of the new wing on the airplane. This new wing is significantly stronger allowing us to carry our large payload, it also has less drag… Continue

Added by Nullified on March 30, 2008 at 8:38pm — 2 Comments

3D Robotics
Australian UAV contest announces its second year

The Australian Research Centre for Aerospace Automation has announced the second year of its amateur UAV contest, called the Outback Challenge, which will be held on the 23rd-24th September 2008, in Kingaroy, Queensland. There are three categories:

1) A remote operation challenge (fly by video downlink only) that's only open the Australian High School students

2) A autonomous UAV target spotting and package delivery… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on March 30, 2008 at 6:31pm — No Comments

Daylight timelapse from autonomous hover

Got some timelapse of a hillside in wind. Wanted to face away from the sun this time but there was nothing to see. Note the sun reflecting off water on the hillside. These were 3k images.

Daylight timelapse from autonomous helicopter from heroine worshipper on Vimeo.

Ning is the only game in… Continue

Added by Jack Crossfire on March 29, 2008 at 9:00pm — 2 Comments

a few ideas gleaned from the microblimp design

Along with a couple of Tri-Turbofan toy blimps, one of the purchases for my early blimp experiments was a Plantraco MicroBlimp, which is the company's current offering. After ordering, I found out that it was too small to carry any useful payload, so I left it in the box until deciding to take a closer look yesterday.

Plantraco seems to specialize in really small radio controlled aircraft. They tend to be somewhat expensive, but… Continue

Added by Howard Gordon on March 29, 2008 at 9:00am — 1 Comment

Night timelapse from auto hover

Night timelapse from autonomous helicopter from heroine worshipper on Vimeo.

A bit more detail is visible in the HD… Continue

Added by Jack Crossfire on March 28, 2008 at 11:40am — No Comments

3D Robotics
PCB fabbing advice

For those of you getting into creating your own PCBs, here's some quick advice:

We use the CADSoft Eagle software (free version can handle up to two PCB layers). It's powerful but pretty hard to learn. For easier to use (albeit more limited) software, you might try… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on March 28, 2008 at 11:30am — 6 Comments

3D Robotics
New double-sided BlimpBot board!

Our progress towards a $79 UAV mod kit for toy RC blimps is going well. We've now got a much better, two-sided PCB board that we're having fabbed. It's smaller, has more features and now integrates the IR sensors on the same board (Eagle schematic here; mask files… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on March 28, 2008 at 11:30am — 15 Comments

Robotic sky writing 4 U

Is she a really bored UAV or a flight computer being tested to the limit? The only way to view sky writing this slow is to render the flight recording in Google Earth.…


Added by Jack Crossfire on March 26, 2008 at 3:39am — No Comments

3D Robotics
Interview: Martin Müller and the Paparazzi Project (now less DIY!)

We've been following the Paparazzi autopilot project with interest for several years. It's a European open source technology initiative that has created both thermopile (infrared sensor) and gyro-based autopilot hardware, along with quite sophisticated software to run it. But the problem to date is… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on March 25, 2008 at 10:30pm — No Comments

3D Robotics
Minimum Blimp V2 PCB files, code

This is just a quick update for those following along with the Minimum Blimp UAV project. We've modded a toy RC blimp and created our own Arduino clone PCB (complete with motor controllers and ports). Here are the PCB files and source code:

--Schematic (Eagle file format) is… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on March 25, 2008 at 9:14pm — No Comments

Nothing impressive, just my first aerial video.

This is my first aerial video taken with The World Models Super Frontier Senior 46. It's quite a large trainer plane with 2040mm wing span and a lot of dihedral. The fuselage also has a lot of room for my equipments.

The video is taken with the Canon PowerShot A430 digital camera attached to the bottom of the fuselage.

Currently, there is no autopilot system in… Continue

Added by Wai Weng Kong on March 25, 2008 at 7:02pm — No Comments

diydrones vs rcgroups vs runryder

Rcgroups & runryder definitely seemed to dry up after diydrones appeared. They're now more focused on promoting businesses while diydrones has attracted the hobbyists, but Ning really needs more organization than the Latest Activity list. Here's a robotic copter update.

Had to point into the wind for more stability. That's also where the sun is.…


Added by Jack Crossfire on March 24, 2008 at 6:25pm — 6 Comments

3D Robotics
Where are the "add blog post" and "add forum discussion" links?!

Last night Ning, our social network hosting platform, pushed out a few new features and in the process changed our look and feel a bit. Among those changes: the "Add a blog post" link at the bottom of the blog listings and "Add a discussion" link at the bottom of the forum listings are gone. So now how do you do those things?

Answer: use the tabs above. You add a discussion topic on the "Forum" tab and… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on March 21, 2008 at 8:07am — 1 Comment

3D Robotics
Autonomous blimps at MAKE NYC meetup

MAKE Magazine's New York City meetup (a hardware hackathon open to all) is next week, on the 27th, and this time they've got blimps!

Here's the announcement:

What can a group of Makers do with a tank of helium? We're not sure! Care to find out? The sixth Make:NYC Meeting includes:

Challenge: Blimps

You've got brains, we've got blimps. Two teams will compete to… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on March 21, 2008 at 7:30am — No Comments

3D Robotics
Minimum Blimp V2 update

As mentioned before, for the second version of our Minimum Blimp Jordi and I decided to mod a RC toy blimp on the grounds that it will be cheaper and more robust than trying to build the whole mechanical assembly ourselves (the aim is to have a fully programmable and hackable… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on March 19, 2008 at 6:00am — 10 Comments

UAV Project Progress - flight gear simulation, first steps

I am working on using flight gear to simulate and test my UAV code. The screen shot shows flight gear and the C# application that is receiving the data. the way I see it, the first step is to read some data out of flight gear. I am using a TCP socket to read the data. I have achieved display of the raw string of data. My next step will be to parse the data into meaningful bits. I have been looking all over the net for information on using flight… Continue

Added by Cory on March 18, 2008 at 8:22pm — 2 Comments

Autonomous UAV Aerobatics Project

here are two notes below that describe the fantastic video demonstration of the MIT Autonomous Airplane Indoor Flying test. Keep your eye on this page for more info in the future.

"In these flight tests, a fixed vertical landing platform was designed and attached to a concrete pole in the middle of the RAVEN flight space to allow the fixed-wing aircraft to land and perch on the pole.… Continue

Added by Cory on March 18, 2008 at 6:54pm — 3 Comments

3D Robotics
What does "Open Source Hardware" mean?

Here at DIY Drones, we adhere to open source principles wherever possible. That means we aim to share (that means post it, not make people ask for it) code, schematics, PCB files, parts lists, instructions, and algorithms for every project featured here. In practice, that's not always possible (not all project have PCB files; not all projects need schematics),… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on March 18, 2008 at 2:00pm — No Comments

3D Robotics
A clever approach to indoor beacons: ultrasound + IR = GPS

A Luxembourg-based team has come up with a really clever indoor navigation system that combines ultrasonic beacons with IR to achieve absolute position ("synthetic GPS"), much like the NorthStar system we use but entirely DIY.

As they describe it: "The infrared flash of a single beacon arrives… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on March 18, 2008 at 5:13am — 1 Comment

YARB 1.0 - added compass and ultrasonic sensors

I attached some additional sensors today - a pair of Maxbotics EZ0 ultrasonic ranging modules and a Honeywell HMC6532 I2C compass. Also, I added an extender to the camera module to point downward about 30-degrees and I finally adjusted the focus. I think the camera angle is pretty good now - the wide angle lens has a field-of-view of approx 120-degrees, so the bottom of the frame captures objects almost directly below.

I haven't yet filtered the sensor data. The… Continue

Added by Howard Gordon on March 16, 2008 at 5:01pm — 19 Comments

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