All Blog Posts (13,403)

3D Robotics
Testing the real world range of the Pololu IR transcievers

As you know, we've had a lot of trouble with the short range of our Pololu IR transceivers that we use with our Blimp UAV. They're rated at up to 20 feet, but we can't seem to get more than 10 feet (and usually more like 5) in real world conditions, with the usual amount of IR noise and the two transceivers not being on the same horizontal plane. I know that… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on March 8, 2008 at 9:00pm — No Comments

Yet Another Robotic Blimp (YARB)

Frustrated by difficulties in achieving adequate stability with my coaxial and quad flyers, and inspired by the efforts of Chris and Jordi with their BlimpBot project, I commenced yet another attempt to defeat gravity with a robotic entity.

This new project employs a relatively inexpensive 66-inch helium blimp from RC Guys, modified for direct motor control using the H-bridge built into the radio board portion of the… Continue

Added by Howard Gordon on March 8, 2008 at 3:42pm — 17 Comments

3D Robotics
Failsafe board now cheaper, better

The Failsafe board (known as a "RxMux", or Receiver Multiplexer) that I wrote about before (and here) is now available for $20 less… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on March 6, 2008 at 8:22am — 2 Comments

Wiring - First Experiements

I finally got my Wiring board form Sparkfun! Wiring is a platform similar to the Arduino but using an AVR atmega128 chip. This chip is clocked at 16Mhz while the Arduino is clocked at 20Mhz. The advantage of the 128 is the increased RAM, ROM & Flash capacity over the Arduino. Both share the same development environment and code written for one can be made to run on the other. A '… Continue

Added by Gareth Farrington on March 5, 2008 at 9:46pm — 2 Comments

3D Robotics
ETech BlimpBot demo report: Success!

Well, that went better. After last week's disaster, Jordi and I worked hard to make the Etech demo of the… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on March 5, 2008 at 5:00pm — 5 Comments

2003 Atlantic Crossing UAV

I read about Maynard Hill when he sent this UAV across the Atlantic in 2003 but I though that there might be a good number of us who never read the story.

or for the kids:…


Added by paul hubner on March 4, 2008 at 9:54am — 5 Comments

3D Robotics
Great primer on accelerometers and basic triginometry

I'll be the first to admit it: I had to relearn a lot of trig that I was last taught in 7th grade when I started work on autopilots. Now Freescale, who makes accelerometers, has come out with a really easy to understand primer on… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on March 4, 2008 at 8:42am — No Comments

AUVSI - Conference

I went to the AUVSI (Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International) conference In Washington DC from Febraury 27-29. Each day focused on a different type of unmanned system. The first day was exclusively ground systems, the second day was maritime systems and the third day was air systems.

For the most part, the presentations were military related. One point that was repeated again and again during all three days was the need for integration and interoperability. The… Continue

Added by Cory on March 2, 2008 at 3:14pm — 4 Comments

3D Robotics
TED Report: Foiled by Air Conditioning!

Yesterday Jordi and his wife drove up with the BlimpBot to Monterey, where I was attending the TED conference, so I could demo it. This was a pretty high-stakes demo, since not only would there be 2,000 of the most influential people in the technology, entertainment and design (TED) worlds watching, but… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on March 1, 2008 at 8:00am — 17 Comments

ArduBlimp (minimum Blimp) V1

Finally we have the final version of the first prototype of ArduBlimp, wells know as the "Minimun Blimp".


* Hold altitude with PING))) sensor...

* Fly around the infrared beacon...

* Use Arduino Lilypad, for low power consumption ...

Some High… Continue

Added by Jordi Muñoz on February 28, 2008 at 1:30pm — 1 Comment

3D Robotics
Getting ready to debut the Minimum Blimp UAV at TED

Tomorrow Jordi and I will give everyone at the TED conference in Monterey the first public preview of the Minimum Blimp UAV. I did the design and Jordi did all the work!

Jordi has more detail in his post… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on February 28, 2008 at 1:30pm — 3 Comments

3D Robotics
Interview: UNAV's Dave Perry on the PicoPilot autopilot

If you want an autopilot for less than $1,000 today you only have two choices: Do it Yourself or buy a PicoPilot (Dean Goedde's AttoPilot isn't out yet). The PicoPilot, which has been out since 2003, is small, light, and simple, and comes in varieties that range from simple one-axis rudder control to barometrically controlled elevator and/or throttle (prices… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on February 26, 2008 at 11:30pm — 4 Comments

3D Robotics
Lego GPS Autopilot code now less buggy!

For those of you interested in building a Lego Mindstorms UAV, two updates:

1) I've improved the RobotC code for the Bluetooth GPS version, in which I caught a lot of bugs. If you were having trouble with it before, download it again and see how it works.

2) At an event in April (can't say more than that), I'll be unveiling the next version of the… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on February 25, 2008 at 12:30am — 1 Comment

Well it has taken me about a month but I think I finally have a plan!

Well it has taken me about a month but I think I finally have a plan for a UAV.

Please excuse my childlike MS Paint style diagrams! This is what I would like it to be able to do. It is using in the BASIC… Continue

Added by Scott James on February 23, 2008 at 10:00pm — 5 Comments

New Concept

Ok bear with me here because i have no drawings or diagrams. Basically this is a device designed [thought up] to transmit or receive or tranceive (im not sure how to spell it). Basically this will transmit information about your aircraft from speed to altitude to lat-long basically this is connected to a receiver attached to an OLED screen so you wear it on your wrist and get all of your information on your wrist instead of a ground station in a big van thats wasting gas. If it happens to be a… Continue

Added by rad man on February 23, 2008 at 2:00pm — 11 Comments



Build an airframe to be able to travel aprox 900 miles.

Use a ENT pnd as the controller and gps platform.

Comunicate with the UAV via cellphone modem to laptop.

Use Google Earth as the mapping and position indicator.

Photograph the area of interest storing info on board UAV to be downloaded when recovered.


Using a SMD Accipiter Badius as a basis,enlarge the airframe by 2.5 times.

Using a weedeater motor, centre… Continue

Added by ian powell on February 22, 2008 at 7:17am — 3 Comments

BS2p auto pilot under microsoft flight sim 2004

I simulated the bs2p under msfs last night . i programed a waypoint in marysville ,wa ,engaged auto around sea-tac airport, it took an east heading ,flew over the cascades into eastern washington then did a 180 flew to around mt rainer then headed east agian then i think my batteries died and it drifted… Continue

Added by wayne garris on February 19, 2008 at 9:40am — No Comments

3D Robotics
New autopilot/IMU board from SparkFun

Some of you may have noticed that for quite a while SparkFun has been listing a "UAV Development Platform - ET312 + IMU" that's always been out of stock. I backordered one out of curiosity last year, and pretty much forgot about it. Then, last week, SparkFun called and said… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on February 18, 2008 at 4:00pm — 19 Comments

3D Robotics
Minimum Blimp UAV bench testing

Jordi and I have been hard at work on the Minimum Blimp UAV and things are coming together nicely. Here are some videos:

First, a test of the Ping))) sensor that we're using for altitude hold. Don't you love the tray-table simulation platform? ;-) The Ping))) sensors are strapped to the far end of the… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on February 18, 2008 at 2:30pm — No Comments

3D Robotics
Demo of a failsafe board for the Basic Stamp autopilot

In an earlier post, I discussed the importance of having a redundant failsafe board so you can regain control in the advent (likelyhood!) of an autopilot failure. Basically, what that board does is sits in-between your autopilot, RC receiver and servos. You switch it… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on February 18, 2008 at 12:30pm — 11 Comments

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