December 2009 Blog Posts (92)

ArduIMU v1 hardware users - Firmware help

It just came to my attention that people trying to use the latest revision firmware with the older ArduIMU hardware were having problems. The current revision firmware has lots of goodies in it that the pre-v2 hardware firmware did not have such as much better vibration resistance, euler angle output, binary message output for Ardu-IMU-Pilot, etc. We had included code in recent revisions to allow use of either hardware, but I guess neither Jordi, Jose, or myself had checked it on the v1… Continue

Added by Doug Weibel on December 24, 2009 at 3:36pm — 35 Comments

Merry Christmas all

There must be several countries just about to start the big day now!!

Safe travelling for those heading out to see family.

I hope Santa brings whatever part from Sparkfun that you wanted ;-)



Added by Gary Mortimer on December 24, 2009 at 3:07am — 6 Comments

3D Robotics
Finally, a working Osprey-like RC model?

GAUI TG-609 from Michael Yang on Vimeo.

The civilian version of the Osprey V22 tilt rotor is the TG-609. Such a vertical take off, fixed wing flight platform has long been a UAV dream, but it's proven too tricky for RC modeling to date. Now Gaui seems to have cracked the code. After more than… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on December 22, 2009 at 11:54pm — 8 Comments

I made it... But what is it?

I know it smells like DIY project.

It is low cost and very easy to build, but what is it?

BTW it's working.

It has 4 selectable channels in the standard 2.4GHz ISM band. It provides you with one composite video and stereo audio output… Continue

Added by Robert Krogh (hooks) on December 22, 2009 at 11:30am — 26 Comments

3D Robotics
Real Time Operating Systems for autopilots [UPDATED]

If you've been following Tom Pyke's progress on his impressive Gluonpilot, you will have seen that he's implementing it with a realtime operating system (RTOS), rather than programming "straight to the iron" the way most autopilots are done, to gain maximum control over interrupts, timing and the like. He's using a relatively powerful dsPIC chip, which can handle the overhead of the RTOS (I think he's using FreeRTOS, but I've… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on December 21, 2009 at 10:00pm — 20 Comments

3D Robotics
$30 laser rangefinder!

Cool news for those interested in SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) for indoors robotics. From Hizook:

"A commercially-available… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on December 21, 2009 at 1:30pm — 11 Comments

Only you can prevent UAV patent trolls.

I was researching prior art for a fully redundant motor/ESC/Battery device, and came across this patent for the the Segway ESC by Dean Kamens group (DEKA). And I realized that given enough money and an interest in a particular field, these companies could patent the obvious and make open source a difficult… Continue

Added by bGatti on December 21, 2009 at 1:08pm — 9 Comments

Basic understanding of ESC

I'm trying to find out what is the maximum update rate for a typical ESC is. I saw that most quad copter designed require the ESC update rate to be very high, i.e 100Hz or more.

My understanding a ESC takes a PPM signal from 1ms to 2ms with a 20ms duty cycle. So a max of 50Hz update rate, is that correct? Is there some "play" in the duty cycle maybe max of 10ms. Or I'm way off base? Looking at ESC data sheets seem to be missing this information.

Added by Tim Michals on December 21, 2009 at 7:19am — 13 Comments

Ardupilot 2.5 preview part 4

Just like in the previous version of Ardupilot, throttle control maintains speed and altitude. I've made a little demo to help demystify the behavior of throttle control. This loop uses a special scaling feature that brings up the throttle to a high level when the airspeed dips below the desired cruising speed. Altitude of the plane is also maintained with the throttle by increasing the desired airspeed. Finally airspeed is scaled to match a throttle output %.…


Added by Jason Short on December 20, 2009 at 8:00pm — 9 Comments

Ardupilot 2.5 preview part 3

Ardupilot 2.5 has the same heading control as before with the addition of a simple controller to adjust the rate or turn for the rudder. To give you a better tool for setting gains and for understanding what happens where and why, here is a handy interactive version of the PID code.

Mouse the mouse left or right to indicate which direction the plane should be turning. Up and down control the current roll of the… Continue

Added by Jason Short on December 20, 2009 at 6:42pm — 3 Comments

3D Robotics
DIY Drones live chat/podcast tonight at 9:00pm PST with MIT quadcopter team

Free video streaming by Ustream

Tonight (Sunday) we'll do podcast #12, which everyone here is welcome to participate in by listening to the chat live above and commenting and asking questions via the DIY Drones… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on December 20, 2009 at 11:30am — 1 Comment

How did I miss this park flyer

Anybody flown one of these, small but interesting looking, covers the ROG thing that lots of people seem to want.

Bigger would be better, but then somebody could scale it up ;-)

Added by Gary Mortimer on December 20, 2009 at 3:00am — 12 Comments

Ardupilot 2.5 preview part 2

Ok this post is about crosstrack error. Ardupilot 2.5 has a basic system for adjusting the plane's bearing when it has steered off of its intended path due to wind. Thanks to Doug Weibel for the code.

XTRACK_GAIN = .2if (abs(bearing_error) < 25) {

bearing_error += sin(radians(crosstrack_heading - bearing_error)) * wp_distance * XTRACK_GAIN;


We set the crosstrack from our starting location as the angle toward the waypoint. As we get blown… Continue

Added by Jason Short on December 19, 2009 at 8:00pm — 11 Comments

Ardupilot 2.5 preview part 1

Hey all,

I thought I would start featuring what's new in 2.5. As you might know it's more than bug fixes. It's an entirely rewritten version that's intended to scale up and be customizable for all sorts of fun things including future projects like Mega. I just finished the loitering code so I thought I'd post that feature first.

On a tip from Ryan Beall, I implemented a simple vector field algorithm that holds the orbit around a… Continue

Added by Jason Short on December 19, 2009 at 6:55pm — 2 Comments

C++ or Java?

I ahve been a passive member of this community a while, but greatly inspired by knowledge and igenuity of the members on this forum. I am gearing up to go for Grad school and do MS in Computer Science hoping to specailize in AI. Its been years since I finished undergrad and that was the last time I worked with programing languages. I am now trying to sharpen my programming skills and get them to speed and am wondering which programming language I should develop proficiency in. Iam thinking of… Continue

Added by Moss on December 19, 2009 at 12:30pm — 9 Comments

German UAV 18 years ago Video !!

I have found a old Video Jan.1992

Have FUN

Added by Peter Koppendorfer on December 19, 2009 at 11:42am — 3 Comments

BlimpDuino on Steroids

Sky Snake

Flexible blimps are bending the rules on UAV design.

By Michael Klesius, December 18, 2009

Read Air & Space Smithsonian magazine article… Continue

Added by Paul Marsh on December 19, 2009 at 10:00am — 2 Comments

3D Robotics
Who knew? Marilyn Monroe got her start making drones

From the latest AUVSI magazine, Unmanned Systems, comes a fascinating article about the early history of UAVs, then target drones. An excerpt (issue is not online):

"Radioplane Co.… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on December 19, 2009 at 12:00am — 4 Comments

Final Beta of the Ardupilot 2.5 Airframe Test

I finally had some quality time with the Ardupilot Airframe Tester in the air and would like to report, after a few bug fixes and tweaking, I finally have a nice solution.

Why this matters and why you should fly it:

- It will help you set up your plane properly and give you vital debugging information.

- It will help you adjust your stabilization gains

- It is a very nice flight stabilizer

- It will let you test your Autopilot setup (more on this… Continue

Added by Jason Short on December 18, 2009 at 10:00pm — 58 Comments

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