March 2010 Blog Posts (118)

What would you want from a UAV fleet simulator?

Hi, this is my first post in these forums. I'm an avionics software developer working on a CS Master's with no robotics background (beyond some Lego Logo and Mindstorms stuff way back when) but I'm looking to change that for my Thesis.

I'm looking at researching and developing a simulation environment for use in drone fleets (primarily UAV but I want it to be useful for ground and sea drones as well). While I want a reasonable basic physics handling of each unit my primary…


Added by Michael Lingg on March 25, 2010 at 6:25am — 4 Comments

EasyStar and UAV devBoard got First Place in "2010 Taiwan Robot Aircraft Design and Photography Competition"

The competition held on March 20 and 21 in Taiwan. There are various events in the competition. Please refer to the official site :

One of the events is Beyond-Vision-Range Flight. The airplane should fly far away and take some pictures of ground targets. The locations of tragets in the competition are shown in the following figure. The farest waypoint is about 3 km from home…


Added by Curtiss Chiang on March 25, 2010 at 5:34am — 29 Comments

Yet another nice platform coming out for UAV / FPV

Soon this platform will be ready and it's made for FPV / UAV flying for the amature marked.

Made of glassfiber.

Wingspan: 1,6 M



Added by Robert Krogh (hooks) on March 24, 2010 at 11:30pm — 14 Comments

Want to use ArduIMU with EM406 or NMEA? Code ready to test.

Like the title says, I've got code ready to test. PM me if you want to test ArduIMU with either an EM406 or a NMEA gps.

Added by Doug Weibel on March 24, 2010 at 5:47pm — 16 Comments

Watch out, the Chinese are catching 'us' up... ;-)

In the new edition of 'Inside GNSS'.

Added by Simon Wood on March 24, 2010 at 3:54pm — 18 Comments

ArduPilot Mega sensor shield testing report II

Hi all,
This is the weekly report of ardupilot mega development :-)
We have developed the library for the DataFlash log memory. This function is really interesting, because we
would record the flights without the need to carry the laptop and telemetry all times... For example, for
testing the code I simply connected an small battery to the ArduPilot Mega, go outside to make…

Added by Jose Julio on March 24, 2010 at 9:50am — 11 Comments

3D Robotics
Tri/Quadcopter awesomeness

[There was a bunch of very cool Tri/Quadcopter stuff on the RCG blogs today. Here's a sampling:]

Above: A very cool custom tricopter with a Trex body so you can tell which direction is…


Added by Chris Anderson on March 23, 2010 at 9:51pm — 17 Comments

3D Robotics
Sparkfun creates their own 3D model for the real autonomous vehicle competition

Sparkfun created their own 3D model of their HQ for the Autonomous Vehicle Competition, which they've submitted to Google Earth. It's good, but I like our own Graham Dyer's version better (bellow). His has the Evil Trees!…


Added by Chris Anderson on March 23, 2010 at 9:18pm — 7 Comments

Developing an IMU from the UAVDevBoard

Hi all!

First I wanna congratulate all of you with all the things you've achieved already!

Now I have question:

I have to do a large school project, I have almost a year to complete it, and I want to make an IMU and display the data graphically using a rotating cube. I've done a lot of reading on this site already, and this is what i came up with:

My idea is to use the UAV Dev Board as a starting point. I would make my own board based on the UAVDevBoard, and rewrite… Continue

Added by Wouter van Verre on March 23, 2010 at 2:35pm — 16 Comments

Rule of Thumb for Power to Lift

1 horsepower = 7 pounds

I've come across this magic number using different sized rotors, props, and engines in large RC helicopters and planes, and also researching horsepower to lift divided by time in several ultralight and light sport aircraft and rotorcraft, and this is a good rule of thumb when developing something that needs to do more than hover or drift in the wind.

Guidelines for precise calculation of…


Added by fibrewire on March 23, 2010 at 11:57am — 1 Comment

Michael's Dispatches 4 U

On Michael Won wrote:

UAVs are very useful, but come with sharp limitations. They are great hammers when you need a hammer, but they’re still hammers when you need a wrench. For example, UAVs can’t guard bridges against suicide bombers. They have limited, pinprick firepower other than for small targets. They are useless in poor weather. UAVs are but…

Added by Jack Crossfire on March 23, 2010 at 11:00am — No Comments

Ublox GPS back in stock at DIY Drones Store

Title says it all. Only 35 in stock and I just bought one to backup my original unit.



Added by Thomas J Coyle III on March 23, 2010 at 5:41am — 7 Comments

Project Andromeda - Communication Protocols

I've been busy writing the communication protocols between the Ground Station and Autopilot. I thought some people might be interested and possibly make use of the approach I've taken. It's all done in binary with discrete packets and makes use of DMA and Interrupts to use as little processor time as possible.…


Added by Nima K on March 23, 2010 at 4:45am — 8 Comments

More ArduIMU Fun

Had a few more flights with the ArduIMU yesterday.

I should mention, that with regards to RC flying, my main interest is competing in IMAC (Scale Aerobatics). Basically it's flying giant scale aircraft through predefined aerobatic patterns for judges. Last year I competed in intermediate (3rd of 5 difficulty levels) and this year I'll be moving up to Advanced (4th of 5 levels).

Arising from this interest, my long term goal would be to get an autopilot doing…


Added by Tom Hastie on March 22, 2010 at 1:50pm — 24 Comments

ArduPilot 2.5.1 alpha test video

I have been busily testing ArduPilot 2.5.1 with ArduIMU and correcting bugs in the basic functionality. I now have all MODEs working well in my primary airframe configuration and will now work on verifying other configurations (radio types, shield versions, thermopiles, etc.)

If you want to help test climb aboard. There is an active thread in the…


Added by Doug Weibel on March 22, 2010 at 12:00pm — 10 Comments

New ST AHRS(s)?

Remove it, if it is a old news...

Version 1 / Price not available / Should be available after 20 March

Version 2 / Price not available / Q2 2010…


Added by Dimitar Kolev on March 22, 2010 at 2:14am — 24 Comments

Flight testing 2.5.03

Hi All,
I just uploaded the last version of 2.5.0(3) I wanted this one to be rock solid before 2.5.1 came out.

I got a few hours today to tweak code and gains for my EZ Star. I implemented the derivative term in the heading/navigation loop and all the other loops used just the p term. The derivative term helped reduce overshoot by about 50%. I'm not kidding about the wind. The plane was flying at a 30° angle to…

Added by Jason Short on March 21, 2010 at 11:01pm — 14 Comments

A little side project...

I’ve been working on a little side project. I originally wanted a case and / or a stand for my Xbee and Xbee Explorer module, so I ordered a couple from Polycase and strapped it together. It looked nice enough and attached to the back of my laptop with Velcro so it was an OK solution. Then I started getting lazy and didn’t want to lug out my laptop and everything every time I wanted to log a flight, so I went to a couple of the different on-board loggers, but never really found a solution I… Continue

Added by Scott Plunkett on March 21, 2010 at 8:24pm — 4 Comments

3D Robotics
Just for fun, the finals of the ROBO-ONE competition

Nothing to do with UAVs, but here's some Sunday night fun in lieu of our normally scheduled podcast. Shown is "the final, suspense filled match featuring Super Dygar (the red robot that starts off on the right side of the ring) and Neutrino (on the left with the large paddle hands.)" Read more at Robot… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on March 21, 2010 at 7:00pm — 2 Comments

What is the preferred elevator & throttle control laws for Fly By Wire

Poll - how do you want FBW to work?

Jason Short came up with a great flight mode, FLY BY WIRE, in ArduPilot 2.5. This mode differs from STABILIZE. In STABILIZE the autopilot constantly tries to return the plane to 0 pitch and roll, while you give stick inputs that tell the plane to do something else. It feels a bit like you are arm wrestling against the autopilot sometimes. With FLY BY WIRE if you move the right(*) stick half way to the right then the plane will… Continue

Added by Doug Weibel on March 21, 2010 at 6:30pm — 25 Comments

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