All Blog Posts (13,563)

3D Robotics
GPS simulation with Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004

We love FlightGear and all that it stands for, but the truth is that it's a bit complicated for beginners. For the rest of us, there's the old stand-by, Microsoft Flight simulator. There's a free plug-in for MS Flight Simulator 2004 called… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on February 17, 2008 at 10:36pm — 4 Comments

Short Range I.R. Radar

Basically here is the site it is a short range inferred radar that could be used for a failsafe in case your uav gets close to the ground. However it is slightly bulky but that can be easily modified because it was made for parking cars. This includes a servo with an inferred transceiver or receiver and transmitter separate, i haven't really looked into it very far. If you are board and want to serf the web go to "… Continue

Added by rad man on February 16, 2008 at 6:30pm — 17 Comments

3D Robotics
How college Blimp UAV contests work

The main existing US Blimp UAV competition is the Indoor Aerial Robot Competition (IARC) held every year since 2005 at Drexel University in Phladelphia.

The contest is designed mostly as an exercise in remote control, both human and computer. The blimps appear to be all RC, with wireless… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on February 16, 2008 at 11:00am — 1 Comment

3D Robotics
Blimp UAV update: Minimum and Maximum versions

We've forked the Blimp UAV into two projects, a minimum and a maximum one. The maximum one is the one that's using the NorthStar "synthetic GPS" directional system and all sorts of other goodies to be a real indoor UAV, with full room sense and navigation… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on February 16, 2008 at 12:00am — 16 Comments

3D Robotics
Some upgrades/changes to the site

As some of you know, this site is based on the Ning platform, and they've just rolled out some changes. Relevent parts for us include:

--Mass Uploader for Photos, Videos, and Music/Podcasts

You'll now be able to upload up to 100 photos, 30 videos or 100 songs/podcasts in one fell swoop. That's not to say that adding all of this stuff won't take forever, but go grab a snack or five and you'll be all set.

--Blog "Improvements" - Round 1

Frankly, this is a… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on February 15, 2008 at 10:34am — No Comments

added duct to coaxial rotor

Big improvement in stability with the addition of a simple duct made from a sheet of 2.5mm RCF (extruded polystyrene) foam from The RCF is similar to depron that was recommended by another forum member, but somewhat more flexible and higher density. I was able to bend the RCF sheet to a 12-inch diameter, while a similar thickness depron sheet broke when bending.

There is some yaw rotation at the beginning of the clip, but you can… Continue

Added by Howard Gordon on February 13, 2008 at 12:31pm — 7 Comments

3D Robotics
Dealing with different GPS versions

Another advantage of GPS simulation: you get to discover horrible glitches in the matrix, such as the inconvenient fact that GPS comes in different dialects, each of which requires different parsing. I found this out when my GPS parser was working with the simulator, but not the real EM406. The problem turned out to be that the simulator outputs GPS time as… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on February 12, 2008 at 10:00pm — 10 Comments

3D Robotics
Why you MUST simulate before flying

I've had a couple people ask why there's such an emphasis here on GPS simulation. The simple answer is "Because we don't want to lose our UAVs!" With regular robots, when they've got bugs or software crashes, you just pick them up and fix the problem. With UAVs, they're likely to fly away forever or end up in a pile of pieces. They're more like satellites or Mars rovers than battlebots--you can't fix them from the ground, and when they go wrong in the air, it can be catastrophic.

One… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on February 9, 2008 at 8:30pm — 5 Comments

99th Blog Post!

Alright i get the 99th blog post or 100th. I might have lost count but ill let the next person have the 100th. I want to start out by saying congratulations guys this is a very successful site with 500+ people and still growing. We all owe Chris Anderson one for making this site!. Um tha the tha tha that thats all folks!

Added by rad man on February 9, 2008 at 3:14pm — 1 Comment

3D Robotics
Bug fixes in the Basic Stamp Autopilot code

Now that I'm doing hardware-in-the-loop testing with the GPS simulator, the bugs in my code are showing up quickly, just as they should. Here's one small-but-deadly one I found this eve: all the code using the FT639 servo controller chip should have a special serial port configuration line that's different from the one we use for the GPS module. Turns… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on February 8, 2008 at 12:00am — 3 Comments

uav project update - fixed blade coaxial rotor

One of the uav projects I started last summer was a fixed blade coaxial rotor flyer that was steered by shifting battery weight in the style of the old Hiller Flying Platform . I put the project on hold while waiting for some lighter-weight brushless coaxial motors from Maxx Products (CR2805), and then got further sidetracked by the X3D-BL quad project.

This past week, I restarted the project, adding a mount for an… Continue

Added by Howard Gordon on February 3, 2008 at 4:25pm — 5 Comments

Progress Report - Project: UAV (First draft of autopilot code)

Me and my team have come a long way since I first posted on RC-Groups with interest of building a UAV.

I started pretty much from square zero, other than having some experience with Lego Mindstorms. I didn't know why my Stamp was being shorted when I did not use a resistor with an LED. I managed to short…


Added by Simon Pan on February 3, 2008 at 3:52pm — 1 Comment

3D Robotics
Modifying the Basic Stamp autopilot for the EM406 GPS (and simulators)

In an earlier post (and here), I showed how to switch the Basic Stamp autopilot from the Parallax GPS module to the better EM406. The reason to do this isn't just the superior reception of the EM406. It's also that the original version of the Basic… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on February 3, 2008 at 10:30am — No Comments

Flightgear telemetry app

I have read about Curtis Olson's use of flightgear for UAV development, but didn't see any applications to download to get started working on an autopilot with. So I've started on my own:

There's not much to it currently, it just demonstrates that I can receive vehicle state information through the native-fdm udp interface.

Added by Luke on February 2, 2008 at 7:53pm — 2 Comments

3D Robotics
Interview: Dean Goedde and the AttoPilot project

If you've been following the exploits of IceBear and a few others, you know that recently they've been beta testing a hot new autopilot that promises to be better and cheaper than anything else in the under $1,000 category. It's called the AttoPilot and I'm…


Added by Chris Anderson on February 2, 2008 at 9:00am — 4 Comments

3D Robotics
Dean Goedde interview, part 3: All about IR sensing vs. gyros

Q: You decided to go with an IR sensor (aka "thermopile", shown) rather than a gyro and accelerometer in an IMU for the first version. Can you explain how you came to that decision?

I have found that even without fancy code, the thermopile is a…


Added by Chris Anderson on February 2, 2008 at 8:30am — 13 Comments

3D Robotics
Dean Goedde interview, part 2: All about the AttoPilot

Q: In a nutshell, what's the AttoPilot project about?

The AttoPilot is about bringing a full-function powerful autopilot to a larger crowd, for many of whom "DIY" is not their interest, just something they can buy and use. I myself wanted to buy a hobby autopilot in late 2005… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on February 2, 2008 at 8:30am — 8 Comments

Final version of ArduIMU (Include Video)

After a few more tests, I now have the final version of the ArduIMU. The main problem was the calibration of the gyros: converting the raw data to degrees/s. I had to change the source code, compile it, upload, and repeat it over and over again. Totally waste of time.

So i configured Arduino to externally adjust the…

Added by Jordi Muñoz on February 1, 2008 at 10:30pm — 44 Comments

3D Robotics
Should you create a blog post or a discussion topic?

Every member of DIY Drones has the ability to create their own blog posts and discussion topics (Please do! This is a community site and its vitality depends on your participation).

Doing so is easy: click here to create a blog post or click… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on February 1, 2008 at 8:30pm — 3 Comments

3D Robotics
Curt Olson interview part 3: GPS simulation with FlightGear

Okay, now that we've connected our PC to our autopilot's GPS input, let's let Curt walk us through all the things we can do with FlightGear. Starting with this:

Q : Is there a way to use FlightGear to…


Added by Chris Anderson on January 28, 2008 at 8:00pm — 2 Comments

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Season Two of the Trust Time Trial (T3) Contest 
A list of all T3 contests is here. The current round, the Vertical Horizontal one, is here

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