As those who have been following along with our "minimum blimp" project to create the cheapest possible autonomous aerial robot (by adding an open source autopilot to a toy RC blimp), maintaining altitude in the face of air currents and temperature gradients has been a continuing challenge. The main problem…
Another first from the "don't apply if your resume doesn't say MIT on it" department. The Eurocopter may have been the first to summit Everest, Alan Szebo Sr/Jr may rule the 3D kingdom, but the Hummingbird's got the endurance record now.
The AUVSI organizers have offered to get us a flying field in San Diego for an amateur UAV fly-in on Sunday, June 8th, the day before their big annual UAV conference and expo starts. Before I take them up on this, I want to gauge interest: are you in the San Diego area or going there for AUVSI and might want to fly on that Sunday?
Today we hit another nice milestone in the growth of DIY Drones: 1,000 people have signed up to participate. In the ten months this site has been running, it has grown to an average of 1,000 unique visitors and 5,000 page views a day. Over that period, we've had a total of about 200,000 unique visitors and nearly three quarters of million page views. We add new… Continue
After our presentations last week at Where 2.0, our Pict'Earth friends stuck around for the weekend to do another mapping mission over the Googleplex (this now seems to be a rite of passage in our community--my original mission is… Continue
The Government Accounting Office has released a new report on the issue of introducing UAVs into the national airspace for routine operations. Nothing very new or illuminating, but I'm glad that they noted that the lack of a clear regulatory path is hindering commercial development. Words that do not appear anywhere in the report: "amateur", "non-commercial", "recreational" and "open source".
Confused by all this talk about Eagle PCB files, schematics, "fabs" and all that? Until about three months ago, so was I. But with a lot of late nights and hand-holding from Jordi, I finally figured it out and now find the fast-growing DIY hardware world mind-blowingly cool. Now you can zip up the learning curve a lot faster than I did by checking out this excellent new… Continue
Dave from UNAV sent over the above GPS simulation results from a search and rescue pattern test for the upcoming Australian Outback Challenge contest. The course is 5x2 miles and Dave used the new… Continue
It was the simplest, cheapest UAV possible: a magnet. It couldn't fly very high, it couldn't follow waypoints, it couldn't carry much of a payload, it was even more unstable than a helicopter, but it could fly as long as PG&E didn't have a rolling blackout.
The guidance system was as simple as can be. Just pulse the throttle when too low or high. Scale the duty cycle based on the time… Continue
So my current project is to scratch build a small QuadCopter. The physical structure is allready built in a preliminary form, and it will do just fine for preliminary testing. Currently, its made of square wood dowel and Speed 400 size motors with an old NiMH pack. Its too heavy to hover with the battery, but I can still get it all working with low altitude testing. When I've got the software stable, then Ill invest in some proper hardware and do it right.