June 2008 Blog Posts (46)

Package galore, VPL, ideas, and thanks

No, i didn't look down, when i said that, i promise!

Yeah, that was waiting for me when i got home friday night. I've been getting atleast a package a day now, with more to come.

In one of those packages, was a box. In this box, from Electronics Goldmine, had this->

I have never seen components used as stuffing before. I got a kick out of it so i took a pic. Yes,… Continue

Added by Genesis Factor on June 30, 2008 at 8:25pm — 4 Comments

3D Robotics
UAV videos on Engineering TV

Engineering TV has a bunch of UAV episodes up, including the Berkeley Aerobot Team and the Hybrid Systems Lab at Stanford University.

Links to the videos are below:

Autonomous Quadrotor…


Added by Chris Anderson on June 30, 2008 at 6:24pm — No Comments

Diy Drones at Maker Faire! (on popsci.com)

Yes I know we (as in all of you guys) were there but popsci.com happens to have a picture of a diy drone at Maker Faire
so enjoy!

Added by rad man on June 29, 2008 at 6:15pm — 5 Comments

3D Robotics
Our next ArduPilot: the dual-core ArduPilot Pro!

[NOTE/UPDATE: All the below, from long ago, has been superseded by events. Basic ArduPilot proved capable of every this described here, so we cancelled this version of the product. Thinking about what the next version of ArduPilot could be can be found…


Added by Chris Anderson on June 28, 2008 at 8:00pm — 21 Comments

3D Robotics
The problem with neural networks

This, from the always interesting Jack Crossfire blog, is the smartest observation on neural networks and genetic algorithms I've seen in ages. Excerpt:

"In our last experience with neural network feedback, the feedback always headed towards 0. That one used straight back propagation to predict cyclic from attitude change. That fiasco has cursed all future investments in the radically different genetic approach. The… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on June 25, 2008 at 10:44am — 3 Comments

3D Robotics
CropCam user pushes for FAA exemptions

Farmer Uses Unmanned Eye in the Sky to Maximize Crops

Idaho Business Review (06/23/08)

(Excerpt, thanks to the AUVSI news roundup, follows):

Kendrick, Idaho, farmer Robert Blair is heading the campaign… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on June 25, 2008 at 8:00am — 12 Comments

First boot, and first problems lol

My computer has booted up, and is running Win2000 (ram restrictions made it the OS of choice, XP can be used, but maybe later, and with some trimming) and i will be working on servo control and figuring out why my usb decided to reboot the computer when i plugged in the Parallax Servo Controller. Yeah, i'm having issues with the drivers as the Boser site doesn't seem to like linking things. I have a picture of first boot i need to upload on photobucket, as well as a picture of the computer. I… Continue

Added by Genesis Factor on June 24, 2008 at 11:00pm — 5 Comments

Materials list and basic Plan of Action

In one fell swoop i've bought almost everything i need for this project. Hoorah! This means its time to post because, well, too many people are in the dark. Since i already did the Goals List in the last one, this will be the materials list

This plane will use solid wireless broadband to accomplish the goals of flight control uplink and video and sensor output downlink There will be no receiver. The reason for this is that i will be well out of range of most, if not all radio… Continue

Added by Genesis Factor on June 24, 2008 at 10:30am — 9 Comments

Autopilot Board

Added by Achal Agrawal on June 24, 2008 at 6:40am — 10 Comments

3D Robotics
Microsoft Virtual Earth now accepting DIY aerial imagery

Cool news from Microsoft: its Google Earth competitor, Virtual Earth, is now accepting user-generated aerial imagery. Unlike Google Earth, where your own data can only be superimposed on the "real" Google Earth data, and people will only see it if they use a special URL, Microsoft is offering to integrate… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on June 23, 2008 at 8:52pm — 10 Comments

3D Robotics
BlimpDuino home page

BlimpDuino is a very low cost open source autonomous blimp. It consists of an Arduino-based blimp controller board with on-board infrared and ultrasonic sensors and an interface for an optional RC mode, a simple gondola with two vectoring (tilting) differential thrusters, and ground-based infrared beacon.…


Added by Chris Anderson on June 23, 2008 at 6:00pm — 132 Comments

3D Robotics
ArduPilot Pro home page

[UPDATE Jan, 2009: The description below is our original conception of ArduPilot Pro. However, we were able to achieve all of these features with the basic ArduPilot, so we are now reconsidering what additional features to add to a future dual-core ArduPilot. Things we are considering include SD-card datalogging and… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on June 23, 2008 at 4:30pm — 46 Comments

3D Robotics
Is GPS good enough for altitude hold?

In our quest to create the simplest and cheapest autopilot available, we're debating whether we need a barometric pressure sensor or can do reasonable altitude control with GPS alone. The old answer to this was the GPS alone wouldn't work--not only were errors of as much as 10s of meters, but glitching could leave you without… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on June 22, 2008 at 11:00am — 13 Comments

UAVs for profit.......or development

As many of you know, the price of commercial UAVs are through the roof . Right now is a great time to sell your uavs. They're cheaper than commercial uavs so they will sell easily to anyone who wants a UAV. The point I am trying to make is not for prophit but for devlopement. So we can make bigger, better, and more powerful UAVs.

Added by rad man on June 22, 2008 at 7:30am — 7 Comments

XBee price increase

XBee Pros have been raised from $32 to $36. Feel like a fool for not buying more at $32, although the direct store still has some. Still have 2 $32 modules from last year. The higher priced model is the XBee ZB ZigBee PRO Series 2 supporting "more dense mesh networks". Maybe it even has Techron to clean your speed controller.

In 5 years these obsolete modules will be $65. Should buy some paperclips. The next bull market is paperclips I tell U.

The good news is a new 900Mhz… Continue

Added by Jack Crossfire on June 21, 2008 at 5:55pm — 1 Comment

3D Robotics
Review: new Arduino Nano board

Gravitech has now released a new Arduino board, the Nano ($49.99), which I think is the best one yet. I just got one, and have had a chance to compare it with the two other breadboardable Arduino options: the Stamp (AKA… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on June 21, 2008 at 4:30pm — 4 Comments

Its been 8 months since my last post and i'm back to UAVs again. this time i have project funding, so money will not be as big of a project halter as it was with the last one. I am still learning St…

Its been 8 months since my last post and i'm back to UAVs again. this time i have project funding, so money will not be as big of a project halter as it was with the last one.

I am still learning Stamp BASIC programming. I've spent my time learning to fly the heli though. I intend to use a propellor board as my heli's main processor. However, the Prop board leaves a lot lacking. I am into SBCs and big computer calculations, not these microprocessor mini codes. Therefore, when i won a… Continue

Added by Genesis Factor on June 21, 2008 at 12:02am — 3 Comments

3D Robotics
How can we make IR beacons with unique IDs for Blimpduino?

Jordi and I are slightly stuck at the last part of our Blimpduino project. We've got the blimp itself all sorted, from electronics to mechanical assembly, and are ready to move into mass production on that. We intend to ship it with a single ground-based IR beacon, around which it… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on June 20, 2008 at 10:30am — 47 Comments

Colored diagrams of Icarus

Maybe this will help with the visualization process

Red = propellers

Blue = Electric motors

Yellow = Flight surfaces

Gold = Flight control surfaces

Light Gray = Helium Envelope

Dark Gray = Cradle, Electronics houseing, and Hull

Green = Cameras

Top View…


Added by Jake Lancaster on June 17, 2008 at 10:22am — No Comments

best way to read a servo signal on arduino

the atmega168 on the arduino has a timer1 which has input capture capability (see this application note and datasheet for atmega168 for details). using it, it's possible to do the pulse timing in completly in hardware (no errors, no jitter), and having a interupt readout the measured time.

here's the code:

unsigned… Continue

Added by quix-fz on June 17, 2008 at 6:20am — 14 Comments

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