Today we hit another nice milestone in the growth of DIY Drones: 1,000 people have signed up to participate. In the ten months this site has been running, it has grown to an average of 1,000 unique visitors and 5,000 page views a day. Over that period, we've had a total of about 200,000 unique visitors… Continue
After our presentations last week at Where 2.0, our Pict'Earth friends stuck around for the weekend to do another mapping mission over the Googleplex (this now seems to be a rite of passage in our community--my original mission is… Continue
The Government Accounting Office has released a new report on the issue of introducing UAVs into the national airspace for routine operations. Nothing very new or illuminating, but I'm glad that they noted that the lack of a clear regulatory path is hindering commercial development. Words that do not appear anywhere in the report: "amateur", "non-commercial", "recreational" and "open source".
Confused by all this talk about Eagle PCB files, schematics, "fabs" and all that? Until about three months ago, so was I. But with a lot of late nights and hand-holding from Jordi, I finally figured it out and now find the fast-growing DIY hardware world mind-blowingly cool. Now you can zip up the learning curve a lot faster than I did by checking out this excellent new… Continue
It was the simplest, cheapest UAV possible: a magnet. It couldn't fly very high, it couldn't follow waypoints, it couldn't carry much of a payload, it was even more unstable than a helicopter, but it could fly as long as PG&E didn't have a rolling blackout.
The guidance system was as simple as can be. Just pulse the throttle when too low or high. Scale the duty cycle based on the time… Continue
So my current project is to scratch build a small QuadCopter. The physical structure is allready built in a preliminary form, and it will do just fine for preliminary testing. Currently, its made of square wood dowel and Speed 400 size motors with an old NiMH pack. Its too heavy to hover with the battery, but I can still get it all working with low altitude testing. When I've got the software stable, then Ill invest in some proper hardware and do it right.
For very small UAVs, especially those used indoors, an interesting way to navigate is using a technique called "optical flow". Basically, it's the way flies see: they detect motion rather than resolve images. As you move, the objects closest to you appear to move the fastest, which for a camera chip means pixels shifting position faster.
The video above is from a Swiss team that have used optical flow to steer…
Has been pass a long time since my last post, and well, I have been very busy. Anyway I have a good gift for all the community and I hope you will enjoy it, is my final version of my MUX antifail system. Chris Anderson already talk about this, you can see… Continue
This isn't exactly a UAV product, but Jay Graves, who runs Hobby Lobby, emailed to say that they've just released a First Person View (FPV) kit, which looks very nice. FPV is a combo of a videocamera in the plane, an… Continue
I thought I'd checked everything for our proposed fly-in this coming weekend: airfield availability, weather, technology ready to fly. But I missed the most obvious conflict: it's MOTHER'S DAY!
Given that I've been traveling for past week and we have five little kids, you can imagine that it would earn me no points at home to leave my wife with the children again while I go flying with the boys. So I'm… Continue
I have ordered my first development kit. This will be a "baby steps" project. I am in the process of learning how to program PIC. Not sure yet what program language is going to be the best. I would like to get as much advice as I can use. Chris… Continue
This is a journal for a BasicX AP I've been working on for the last month:
i received my BasicX processor the first week of April and spent the next week pounding out the code .
i then spent the next week simulating and adding a few niceties like way point and setup files.
the next two weeks was spent waiting for the gps module and other parts… Continue
I've had it in my mind for some time now to build a UAV. I liked Chris' builds with the Predator airframes and noted his concerns about the larger of the two Predators not having enough power or control authority. Now that I've managed to get my hands on a Predator, you guys get to suffer through my build log.
I stripped the airframe down by removing the stock 380 brushed motor, ESC and associated wiring and weighed the airframe...14.5 oz for the 75in wingspan version. I decided to… Continue