December 2015 Blog Posts (96)

3D Robotics
Glimpse of what Qualcomm Snapdragon Flight board will enable next year

Qualcomm, a 3DR investor, has released a sneak peek of what it will be showing at CES next week. 3DR will be also displaying in the Qualcomm booth. Draw your own conclusions ;-)



Added by Chris Anderson on December 31, 2015 at 2:18pm — 26 Comments

Flying Robot Commander & Paparazzi UAV

Being a product of the 1960's and a fan of science fiction films/series like Star Trek, Lost in Space, 2001: Space Odyssey, Space 1999, Silent Running, the idea of having a control surface full of multi-colored buttons seemed a natural approach for managing flying aircraft. Last week, I decided to design a web based UI that scratched that 1960's sci-fi itch, so to…


Added by earthpatrol on December 30, 2015 at 10:03pm — 7 Comments

3D Robotics
Idiot's Guide to DroneKit-Python: A Journey to WHOZ CHILLIN

As always, this post is mirrored on my personal blog with a little nicer formatting at


Ever since I moved to Berkeley and started at 3DR, I dreamed of developing an app that ran…


Added by Daniel McKinnon on December 30, 2015 at 8:27pm — 15 Comments

Media panics over drone flying near Obama motorcade

"Drone Buzzes President Barack Obama's Motorcade in Hawaii"

Link here

Some guy, who received a drone for Christmas happens to be flying when Obama drives by, and the media goes…


Added by Patrick Duffy on December 29, 2015 at 10:00pm — 36 Comments

Pelican Case for Iris+

I've been looking for a better way to protect my Iris+. Amazon recently had a daily deal on Pelican cases. When I saw the Pelican 1650 for only $150, I couldn't pass it up. 

I like the 1650 because I am able to fit everything in it, even though it is a little large. In my case I have:

  • Iris+ with propellers on
  • Iris+ controller with lanyard
  • 2 batteries 
  • LiPo bag (for charging
  • Telemetry radio
  • Long…

Added by Nigel Armstrong on December 28, 2015 at 5:30pm — 1 Comment

Best drone photos of 2015

The BBC has posted the best drone photos of 2015. Interestingly enough not a single entry from the USA. Perhaps the drone users were busy filing for FAA…


Added by Eugene Potapov on December 28, 2015 at 1:13pm — 5 Comments

Horten Batwing Drone


I've always been fascinated with the Horten brothers flying wing designs and their Bell Lift Distribution wing design..

Using X-plane Planemaker and XFLR5  analysis software has helped in determining the right amount of wing twist.

I also developed an Arduino controlled drag…


Added by Larry Baraniuk on December 28, 2015 at 11:00am — 3 Comments

PXFmini, an open autopilot shield for the Raspberry Pi Zero

Following up with the PixHawk Fire Cape (PXF) series that was started a while ago, I'm happy to announce the PXFmini, an open autopilot shield for the Raspberry Pi. This autopilot shield allows anyone to create ready-to-fly autopilots with support for Dronecode’s APM flight stack priced at only 69 €. The shield has…


Added by Víctor Mayoral on December 28, 2015 at 9:30am — 47 Comments

RTK Loiter / RTL Testing with AC 3.2.1 and NS-HP-5

Holidays Greetings!

There is much interest in seeing demo of our $50 pre-order NS-HP RTK receiver on a quadcopter, so we tested last week on a less windy day (with up to 4.5mph wind). A compass module and 5Hz version of NS-HP RTK receiver replaced the original GPS and compass inside the 3DR Iris. These two videos show the result we obtained with…


Added by Oliver Huang on December 27, 2015 at 10:15am — 31 Comments

Snickerdoodle NASA CFS and RTEMS

 Wow! All I can start off with about Snickerdoodle is BAM! In your face computing power!

 This is what the next generation of DIY Drones and Robotics looks like! All I can say is AWESOME!

 This product is so new and so innovative it's unbelievable!

 Guy's I've been doing research lately looking for hardware for a cubesat project…


Added by Monroe King on December 25, 2015 at 2:00pm — 17 Comments

BeastTX - Let's redefine the way to fly!

Merry Christmas and a happy new year!

We are almost ready to start with our all-in-one solution, the BeastTX, at Kickstarter. At the same time we introduce a new productline for automated flights. The D.O.C (Drone Operation Controller) is not a simple remote-control. It combines the groundstation, remote-control,…


Added by Martin von Kameke on December 24, 2015 at 3:30pm — 12 Comments

3D Robotics
PX4 1.1 release + Android support for QGroundControl

Congrats to the Dronecode/PX4 team for a series of new releases.

The PX4 1.1 code is now out with these new features:

  • Switch to CMake build system
  • Significant…

Added by Chris Anderson on December 24, 2015 at 2:16pm — 7 Comments

3D Robotics
The economics of drone delivery

Does drone delivery make economic sense? The answer, in this good analysis at Flexport by Dan Wang, is that it certain limited conditions with the right combination of market…


Added by Chris Anderson on December 24, 2015 at 10:16am — 10 Comments

Deep Drone v2

In a last post I discussed my little flying object detector project that I’ve been doing for fun. While it worked it relied on communication with an external laptop in order to work (the on board odroid was not powerful enough to run the convnet model).

Hence, what better excuse to buy an NVIDIA Jetson TK1 dev board which should have more than enough…


Added by Dirk Gorissen on December 24, 2015 at 9:04am — 6 Comments

3D Robotics
Dronecode membership grows almost 3x this year

We're adding Dronecode members faster than we can update the website ;-) We'll be at nearly 50 companies by the end of the year, a three-fold increase since this time last year. Great work is being done by the PX4 and APM teams, and integration with ROS is already paying dividends.…


Added by Chris Anderson on December 23, 2015 at 11:30pm — 5 Comments

3D Robotics
Latest stats on US drone imports and falling prices

It's hard to get accurate, up-to-date and comprehensive statistics on the drone industry, but Quartz has done an admirable job of looking at the US government import data:



Added by Chris Anderson on December 23, 2015 at 9:10am — 3 Comments

Cleaned up MinimOSD code, saved some bit, added real rotation switching

FPV cam

I had to hack on the code to fix rotation switching, and added instructions for others who want to build themselves since it took me a little bit to figure it out.

If you are using Plane, can you test this build to make sure I didn't break anything while removing dead code and cleaning all compilation warnings?…


Added by Marc MERLIN on December 22, 2015 at 6:30pm — 4 Comments

Paparazzi UAV Release: v5.8 Stable

Season Greetings,

Just in time for the holidays we are happy to announce the release of Paparazzi v5.8_stable.

Check out the v5.8 branch from git to stay on this stable branch (which as usual will get some important fixes backported) or use the master branch to follow the latest development.
With contributions from…

Added by earthpatrol on December 22, 2015 at 5:45pm — 29 Comments

3D Robotics
Where does private land end and public airspace begin?

Good article from Scientific American on the jurisdictional conflicts between private land and public airspace: who owns the air 400 ft above your house?

On the evening of July 26th, in Bullitt County, Ky., William Merideth’s daughter came in…


Added by Chris Anderson on December 22, 2015 at 4:46pm — 4 Comments

3D Robotics
Impressive web services interface for ROS

From the ROS blog (The Open Source Robotics Foundation, which makes ROS, is part of Dronecode).

I have developed ROS Web Services to provide new abstractions to ROS using SOAP and REST Web services.…

Added by Chris Anderson on December 22, 2015 at 4:14pm — 1 Comment

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