July 2009 Blog Posts (68)

3D Robotics
Announcing the official DIY Drones Trust Time Trial (T3) Contest

Thanks to the good ideas of Gary Mortimer and others, we're now launching a Trust Time Trial contest. The idea is simple: you set up four waywaypoints, spaced 200m apart, on your own field and time your UAV completing the course. Upload the data in the comments here. Best time on Sept 1 wins (I've got a prize this month--a new… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on July 31, 2009 at 8:30am — 215 Comments

Paparazzi: The Plug and Play autopilot..?

I just recently moved over from NXT to Paparazzi and I must admit I'm amazed. Excluding some problems with my radio equipment it was really easy to get flying fully autonomously; just earlier today I got everything plugged in. As the airframe I used one of my EasyGliders. It has AuW of 1,4kg and about 400W brushless setup. With it I'm using a 2.4GHz radio which… Continue

Added by Sami Finnila on July 30, 2009 at 1:30pm — 29 Comments

New Project: Quadcopter - first hover, then OSD, FPV, UAV... the works...


I've never introduced myself so I'll take the time now (feel free to skip this paragraph). I have a business background but I am a technology enthusiast. Recently my interest about the business and strategics/social aspects of Open Source (especially Open Hardware) has really grown. In order to better understand the OS… Continue

Added by Gian Carlo M. on July 29, 2009 at 10:00pm — 14 Comments

3D Robotics
Contest idea: DIY time trial. Fastest GPS track wins

Gary Mortimer has a good idea: a DIY time trial contest, where you time your UAV flying autonomously over an agreed-upon course. You upload GPS track, time and, onboard video. Fastest time each month wins something cool that I'll donate (like a Funjet kit).

What kind of course would work best for this? For starters, how about this: a square, 400m on a side. Must complete three full circuits in… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on July 29, 2009 at 9:00pm — 42 Comments

Princing in Open Hardware Projects - Chris' lost blog post

Hello everyone, I've been in this community for quite some time, although I haven't participated much.

I'm looking for a post where Chris Anderson explains the rationale behind the initial pricing of DIYDrones products. I can't find that post anywhere.

Does anyone know what I'm talking about?


Added by Gian Carlo M. on July 29, 2009 at 5:06pm — 7 Comments

2km Milestone Reached

Made it! Successful 2km Range Test from Stephen Carlson on Vimeo.

Now that I've completed this major milestone in my research project, I'm switching gears. I've ordered the ArduPilot with the goal of autonomous flight by the end of August, in addition to achieving other, more classified… Continue

Added by Stephen Carlson on July 29, 2009 at 4:49pm — 2 Comments

Ardupilot roll functional flow diagram

I'm installing Ardupilot in the 6 foot wingspan electric Telemaster. As this is a significantly different airplane than the Easy Star I want to proceed slowly and carefully. If I can I am going to adjust and confirm PID settings, etc, one function (roll, climb and speed) at a time, starting with roll. I decided I needed to have a good idea how the roll software is implemented in Jordi's and Chris' marvellous software. So I embarked on developing the functional flow diagram shown here. It is… Continue

Added by Fred Forbes on July 29, 2009 at 1:59pm — 7 Comments


Hello everybody! I would like to introduce EasyStar (with a few mods) UAV which uses PIC32 based autopilot that I've been working on for a few months (started a few weeks before Brian Wolfe showed his work on DIYDrones ;-)

Right now it's build upon UBW32 board but in the future I plan to desing my own PCB and decrease… Continue

Added by UAVman on July 29, 2009 at 5:30am — 11 Comments

3D Robotics
Quick and dirty program to test your XY and Z sensors

This is just a repost for those who are new to ArduPilot:

Here's a very simple Arduino program that will test your XY and Z sensors. Just load it on ArduPilot (make sure the board is powered and the GPS is not connected). With the FTDI cable connected, click on the serial monitor icon in Arduino and make sure the speed is set for 9600. The program will prompt you to tilt the… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on July 28, 2009 at 11:31pm — 6 Comments

$40 IMU now available at your local walmart...with a little help from radioshack

I posted on here a while ago that the wii motion plus gyro sensor had been cracked but didnt really get much buzz about it. Well one problem with using the M+ in addition to the nunchuck to supply the accelerometer is that both are on the same I2C address. I found a real easy way to get around that problem and now the possibility opens up for a $40 6 sensor system. Now, I love that diydrones is offering an IMU system now to play with, but being a poor college student I cant shell out over $100… Continue

Added by Knuckles904 on July 28, 2009 at 10:09am — 5 Comments

Built up Three more PicPilots

Well my back ordered parts finally came in so I built up my last three PicPilot boards. I plan on keeping one of them so I'll have two to play around with. One is in my Tri Rotor and the other will be installed in the Easy Star clone I just received. Of the remaining two, I have one potentially sold leaving one up for grabs. If your interested the cost is… Continue

Added by Brian Wolfe on July 27, 2009 at 1:10am — 30 Comments

What you think about the idea of using quadrirotor UAVs for filming real estate video?

We have a UAV device that can stay on the air for up to 50 mins, runs on clean energy, and supports a payload of 8 lbs. Talking to some companies that sell video to real estate companies, it seems they would be interested in a device like this because it competes against helicopter. The only concern from the people we've interviewed, is stability. I still think there must be something out there to mitigate this concern, right?

Added by Hector Torres on July 26, 2009 at 12:48pm — 7 Comments

3D Robotics
ScanEagle model kit with 63" wingspan

Found by Gary Mortimer over at the AttoPilot user forum: a fiberglass model kit of the ScanEagle UAV. Unfortunately, the supplier is out of stock. More info and pics in… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on July 25, 2009 at 10:30pm — 26 Comments

Cheap and Easy Reset Switch

Do you have an unused PC lying around somewhere? Try ripping into your old desktop for its power button! My Thermaltake Soprano yielded a nice looking power button with a two-pin female connector, perfect for plugging right into the ArduShield.

Added by Adam Kaplan on July 25, 2009 at 9:30pm — 2 Comments

Time on your thumbs?? iDrone

Looks like fun. How many drone games are out there?? I know about the Predator add on for FSX, must be more.

Heres the link

Added by Gary Mortimer on July 24, 2009 at 11:30pm — No Comments

Materials of Interest - TEEK-H Polyimide-Foam/Aerogel Composites for Thermal Insulation

Polyimide-Foam/Aerogel Composites

for Thermal Insulation

Composites of specific types of polymer

foams and aerogel particles or blankets

have been proposed to obtain thermal

insulation performance superior to those

of the neat polyimide foams.

These composites have potential to also

provide enhanced properties for vibration

dampening or acoustic attenuation.

The specific type of polymer foam is

denoted "TEEK-H,"… Continue

Added by Khem Caigan on July 24, 2009 at 10:30pm — No Comments

Materials of Interest - NASA Langley's TEEK Foam - stable from from -423 to +482 °F

Keeping Cool in Extreme Heat

A new foam knows how to keep its cool

even under extreme high temperatures.

NASA's Langley Research Center needed

a lightweight foam that could retain its

structural integrity under temperatures

ranging from -423 to +482 °F, for its

second-generation Reusable Launch

Vehicles (RLV).

Langley's RLV airframe design required

new insulation material for the fuel tanks,

which are exposed to… Continue

Added by Khem Caigan on July 24, 2009 at 10:30pm — No Comments

3D Robotics
Aurora VTOL drone prototype first flight

Half-scale model. Video of first flight comes after renders. More info from Wired's Danger Room… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on July 24, 2009 at 10:22pm — 6 Comments

3D Robotics
ArduPilot (and Jordi) on the cover of new MAKE Magazine!

Article is not online yet, but here's the cover!

Added by Chris Anderson on July 24, 2009 at 8:37pm — 8 Comments

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