All Blog Posts (13,402)

Lithium Polymer Batteries and Chargers mini-primer

Lithium Polymer batteries are an attractive power source for electric flight due to their high energy density. The combination of lithium polymer batteries and brushless motors now rivals glow power in terms of power and duration.

The main difficulty when using lithium polymer batteries is choosing what batteries and charger to use. Batteries are specified in terms of voltage, capacity, and discharge rating.

Voltage is generally listed as 1S - 6S. The S number refers to… Continue

Added by Cory on July 23, 2008 at 11:04am — 7 Comments

3D Robotics
FAQ: Confusing terms explained

This is a glossary of some of the terms you may read on DIY Drones. Please feel free to suggest others in the comments below!

  • 2.4 GhzThe frequency used by digital (spread spectrum) radio communications in our applications, including 2.4Ghz RC, bluetooth and some video transmission equipment. This is a different band than the older 72 Mhz band…

Added by Chris Anderson on July 21, 2008 at 10:30pm — 47 Comments

3D Robotics
Video of the BlimpDuino with vectoring thrusters

Switching BlimpDuino from modded toy blimps to a custom vectoring thruster platform was the best move we've made so far. Not only does it save a lot of money and fuss, but the vectoring… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on July 20, 2008 at 6:30pm — 3 Comments

3D Robotics
Even better than the "Air Sniper": the "Air Knife"!

Our friends at the Danger Room blog were inspired by the comically bogus "AirSniper" UAV/assault rifle ad we found. So… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on July 18, 2008 at 7:30pm — 5 Comments

3D Robotics
DIY Drones on the Ning home page!

Very cool! We're now a featured network on the home page of Ning, which is the social network service that this site is based on. They told me it was due to our "strong organic growth", which is due to all of you!

We now average… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on July 18, 2008 at 7:30am — 1 Comment

3D Robotics
Wall Street Journal: Unmanned Aircraft Face Hurdles

From today's WSJ:

Unmanned Aircraft Face Hurdles


July 17, 2008

FARNBOROUGH, England -- Unmanned aircraft are rapidly becoming mainstays of military and border-security operations worldwide. But significant commercial uses for the planes aren't expected to emerge for at least another decade because of regulatory and technical challenges, industry and government officials said at… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on July 16, 2008 at 10:14pm — 1 Comment

3D Robotics
Warning: bad experience with UNAV

I've had mixed experiences with UNAV (maker of the Pico Pilot) in the past. I like their autopilot hardware, but the software is terrible and it all feels a bit dated and old-school. Based on some early looks I think Dean Goedde's AttoPilot is going to blow the Pico Pilot away (a proper review will be coming as soon as I get my hands on the hardware). But I wanted to be fair to UNAV, so I offered to review their new PicoPilot groundstation… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on July 16, 2008 at 9:18pm — 21 Comments

new plan

after much thought, i'm copping out of creating a UAV with video tracking.

now the plan is to mount a decent video camera in a controlled environment in order to track infrared signals.

blimps will have IR emitters on top, emitting some sort of modulated signal. with some fourier transform and the computing power of my mac, i can then locate and identify a given number of blimps in view.

i'm trying to identify true (x,y,z) position of each blimp. i'm thinking of using… Continue

Added by Aaron Weinstein on July 16, 2008 at 8:30pm — 1 Comment

3D Robotics
Lunch with Arduino co-founder Massimo Banzi

Massimo Banzi, the co-founder of the Arduino project, was in San Francisco today after spending the weekend at FOO Camp, and he dropped by for lunch with me at Wired. As you know we're huge Arduino fans, so this was a… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on July 14, 2008 at 10:35pm — 2 Comments

3D Robotics
Is this for real?

Spotted in the current issue of Unmanned Systems, the AUVSI magazine: an ad for a sniper rifle/quadcopter UAV (shown above). Absurdly, it says you can take off the rotors and camera and also use the fuselage as an assault rifle! If this were the April edition, I'd think it… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on July 14, 2008 at 9:30pm — 14 Comments

$3 gyro ?

I just stumbled across this 300 deg/sec rate gyro -

Description -

Datasheet -

They're talking about $2.50 in volume… Continue

Added by Howard Gordon on July 14, 2008 at 10:29am — 5 Comments

3D Robotics
ArduPilot code update

We're been making progress on the ArduPilot code and are getting closer to releasing a proper beta. In the meantime, here's an update (and, for the brave, a pre-alpha look at the code):

The basic outlines of the code (GPS parser, navigation loops, altitude control, servo control, etc) are written. The GPS parser is pretty well tested and works okay. The navigation algorithms have been tested on a simulator, but still need to be tested in the real world. The servo control needs to be… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on July 13, 2008 at 9:00pm — 1 Comment

New panoramic system

after a whole bunch of trial and error, i'm happy to say that my the parts camcoder i will be using for the panoramic system is 100% operational, set up, and ready to be mounted. The biggest problem was getting the "no tape" warning off the main screen. It looks like i'll be only needing a servo for the zoom. I've spent the day researching my stepper motors and gears, pushing through basic equations and what not. In the end, if i get this gear set i want (and without using legos :) ), i should… Continue

Added by Genesis Factor on July 13, 2008 at 5:17am — No Comments

Back to earth...running

so i got my pred today. Thanks again to helomix. Let's just say a whole bunch of mixed emotions arose when i saw it, from happiness that it was finally here, to the nervousness set in when i realized that i'm truly at the point where i need to put my skills where my mouth is, i mean, I already did it with money, to disappointment when i realized i have to cut back on a few items i my project :-P.

There are two things i realized when i saw the pred-… Continue

Added by Genesis Factor on July 12, 2008 at 2:00am — 6 Comments

3D Robotics
Interview: Andrew Bugera on the 2008 AUVSI Student UAV contest

(Left to Right) Don Hatch, Tim Herd

Performing an engine check before the competition practice flight.

Location: Webster Field

We've written a bit about this… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on July 11, 2008 at 5:30pm — No Comments

My Camcopter

I will try to design INS/GPS using ARM7 LPC2148 ,ads8344, 03 CRS03Gyro (or 03 ADXR 610),02 MMA6231Q, trimble lassen IQ GPS for my helicopter. any idea?

Added by Jean Martin on July 11, 2008 at 2:30am — No Comments

3D Robotics
Five good planes to convert to a UAV

I get this question all the time: what's a good plane to turn into a UAV? The answer is that it depends on your needs, your budget and your RC skills. But here are some good electric candidates:

For RC beginners:

The… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on July 10, 2008 at 11:00pm — 42 Comments

prototype of my uav-pcb

because there's no easy way to connect the arduino to a normal perf-baord (stupid 2mm space between digi7 and digi8) i decided to make it the right way from the beginning. so i downloaded eagle and played around the last few days. this is what has come out. :) i plan to use the arduino bootloader and just connect the few needed pins to a empty diecimila board for easy programming. all the traces are already handrouted.

i'll use the… Continue

Added by quix-fz on July 10, 2008 at 12:30am — 7 Comments

3D Robotics
An old skool instrument panel for OSD data

This is just the coolest thing. It's not exactly UAV-related, but our FPV (first-person view) friends use much of the same technology as we do, from real-time video links to on-screen displays (OSD) of GPS and telemetry data. Here's what one FPV guy did to…


Added by Chris Anderson on July 10, 2008 at 12:20am — 1 Comment

The "Armchair pilots" story

Nifty new wording for something everyone knew about since 1995. What CNN left out was Germany, Iran, China, India, Israel, & N. Korea having exactly the same capability.


Added by Jack Crossfire on July 9, 2008 at 6:39pm — No Comments

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