December 2009 Blog Posts (92)

3D Robotics
Commercial antenna tracker unit ($90)

Here's a good looking ground antenna tracking unit with pan and tilt servos for $90.

From the product description:

"Antenna pan/tilt assembly kit designed to work with the… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on December 18, 2009 at 9:00pm — 7 Comments

Setting up my ArduPilot system... A project post...

Well the day has come, my Shield V2 arrived, and I have all the parts necessary to start building my UAV control system. This is just a documentation if you will, of my progress, hope, dreams...etc. I've been reading this site on & off for a year or two, and am now finally getting started. Within you will see my trials and tribulations, do's and don'ts( mostly don'ts so far lol) and who knows, I might be of some help with the newbies like myself. =] If you need some help like I did when you… Continue

Added by Benjamin Lanehart on December 18, 2009 at 2:28pm — 9 Comments


So got up to this. Since the reference design has a header which doesn't allow USB & programming simultaneously we now have a header. Unfortunately still no USB even at slow speed. It detects the reset but never gets a transaction.

Even in circuit programming is super slow. Maybe that's related to the USB problem. This is the cleanest board we ever made but the programming speed only goes to 9375Hz. Tried disabling the radio,… Continue

Added by Jack Crossfire on December 18, 2009 at 12:39pm — No Comments

3D Robotics
iRobot co-founder's new UAV company to do bridge inspections

Helen Greiner, the co-founder of iRobot who left last year to start her own company, has announced their first project: a bridge-inspecting UAV, for which it has won a $2.4 million… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on December 17, 2009 at 10:46pm — 2 Comments

3D Robotics
New quadcopter from Australian firm

From Wired's Danger Room blog: "Last month, an Australian company, Cyber Technology (WA) Pty Ltd, used a drone with ducted fans in an actual operation. Their… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on December 17, 2009 at 10:30pm — 11 Comments

What's up with the Drone haters?

I guess they made it to TAAC.

And I guess Cindy is looking for something new now that GWB is gone???

We really need to think of ways to showcase the positive side of this technology before the ACLU gets in on the… Continue

Added by Patrick Egan on December 17, 2009 at 11:34am — 33 Comments

Insurgents Hack U.S. Drones

Senior defense and intelligence officials said Iranian-backed insurgents intercepted the video feeds by taking advantage of an unprotected communications link in some of the remotely flown planes' systems. Shiite fighters in Iraq used software programs such as SkyGrabber -- available for as little as $25.95 on the Internet -- to regularly capture drone video feeds, according to a person familiar with reports on the matter.…


Added by Tim Trueman on December 16, 2009 at 11:30pm — 30 Comments

ArduIMU Firmware for NMEA with I2C compass heading

For those NMEA GPS users out there who don't want to be left out of the wonderful product that is ArduIMU, I've modified/combined the NMEA parsing routine in ArudPilot 2.3.1 with the latest ArduIMU firmware from Doug Weibel - ArduIMUV2 DCM V10. Additionally, I'm using the $50 I2C compass from Sparkfun (HMC6352) and have added a routine to pull this data from the compass and include it in the text output as "HDG." I've also added "SAT" for satellites and "HOP" for HDOP in the text… Continue

Added by Paul Mather on December 16, 2009 at 8:30pm — 27 Comments

Chopper Drop Tests New Technology

NASA researchers dropped a small helicopter from 35 feet to see if a deployable energy absorber could lessen the destructive force of a crash.
Will be very use full for UAV auto landing.

Added by Mogly (Umesh Tharanath) on December 16, 2009 at 8:19am — 8 Comments

3D Robotics
"Drone pilot burnout"

This year's New York Times Magazine Year in Ideas reminded me of a good one from last year's edition: "Drone Pilot Burnout", described as follows:

"On its face, it seems like the less stressful… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on December 16, 2009 at 12:58am — 14 Comments

Ardu-IMU-Pilot Flys - First successful test flight made today!

Today the weather finally cooperated and I dashed off to my local flying field for a long lunch.

My Ardu-IMU-Pilot had two successful flights! Performance was quite poor, but considering that I changed all the control laws and picked gains out of the air I am satisfied that the UAV was able to complete the prescribed circuit (multiple times in fact).

It is funny to see this track on google earth because in fact most of the ground… Continue

Added by Doug Weibel on December 15, 2009 at 4:30pm — 14 Comments

3D Robotics
Other amateur UAV communities

For those of you who just can't enough amateur UAV info, here are some other communities worth adding to your reading list:

--RC Groups UAV forum: This is the grandfather of UAV discussion forums and the second biggest after DIY Drones.

--RC Universe UAV forum: Not as active as RC Groups, but still worth… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on December 15, 2009 at 9:30am — 4 Comments

Public beta of the Ardupilot 2.5 Airframe Test

Hello everyone,

The Ardupilot 2.5 Airframe Test is now available as Public Beta. It goes without saying that everything seems to work, but we could use your feedback finalizing this code.

Use this release to:

- Configure your 2.5 Header files

- verify your sensors are functioning properly

- verify your servos are not reversed

- verify your stabilzation is pointing your plane AWAY from the ground

- verify your failsafe is functional

- output… Continue

Added by Jason Short on December 15, 2009 at 1:00am — 16 Comments

3D Robotics
MIT's Eric von Hippel on open innovation models

Famed MIT open innovation researcher Eric von Hippel has a new paper out on open innovation models, of… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on December 14, 2009 at 10:00pm — 9 Comments

3D Robotics
Booz: New Paparazzi project for quadcopters

Over at RC Groups, there's an interesting thread about Booz, a new Quad Rotor UAV project that uses some of the Paparazzi code as its base.

They write:

"This thread will be a place for all… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on December 13, 2009 at 11:35pm — 15 Comments

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

Free video streaming by Ustream

Tonight (Sunday) we'll do our tenth podcast, 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 13, 2009 at 10:00pm — 3 Comments

learning to fly with ardupilot??

Does anyone know if it's possible to use the ardupilot as a training aid.

I'm about halfay through building a model trainer that looks like a microlight from the book 'Learn to make models that fly' called the 'Micro-T'. I intend to use this model to teach myself how to fly as my nearest modelling club is more than 50 miles away. (There is one thats closer but say they don't have a qualified instructor)

Anyway could I build his model and have the ardupilot control certain… Continue

Added by jim on December 13, 2009 at 7:54am — 13 Comments

ArduPilot AND BlimpDuino featured on Make

I noticed this story on one of my newsfeeds. Looking into it, it looks like BOTH Ardupilot and Blimpduino were listed as "Make Online Open Source Hardware 2009" projects. Most notably, ArduPilot was listed first in the UAV subsection, with the BlimpDuino being listed second.

UAV SPecific page: here, main page… Continue

Added by Pokoleo on December 13, 2009 at 1:56am — 1 Comment

3D Robotics
New product in the DIY Drones store: 8-ch PPM encoder

The best way to read RC signals is PPM, which is a sequential stream where each channel is output in turn on a single wire. But traditionally the only way you can get that is to open up your RC receiver and solder a wire to a special pin. Fortunately the Paparazzi team designed a board that will convert… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on December 11, 2009 at 11:52pm — 79 Comments

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