All Blog Posts (13,618)


3D Robotics
The DIY Drones Mission (aka The Five Rules)

"Because $10,000 $5,000 $1,000 is too much to pay for an autopilot, especially one that doesn't do exactly what you want."



An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV, colloquially known as a "drone") is…

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Added by Chris Anderson on January 4, 2008 at 11:00am — 18 Comments


3D Robotics
Basic Stamp autopilot tutorial, part 3

SparkFun has quite a few GPS modules, but I prefer the EM406, because it uses the standard 5v power we're using on the dev board (as opposed to the EM408, which needs 3.3v) and has a handy red LED to show sat acquisition status (the 408 doesn't).



There are two difference between using the Parallax GPS module and a third-party… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on January 4, 2008 at 11:00am — 8 Comments


3D Robotics
Our new site design--pretty cool, huh?

Just a quick note to call out Carl DeTorres, the Wired designer who did our new header and background graphics. (why didn't I have cool wallpaper like that when I was a kid?) We're still thinking about color choices and site architecture, so if you've got suggestions, please leave them in the… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on January 3, 2008 at 11:50am — 21 Comments


3D Robotics
Amazing new robotic fly from Harvard: fly-sized, really flies!

Harvard professor Robert Wood has demoed a robotic fly, which is the first to be both actually fly-sized and have a higher power/weight density than an real fly. From this good article about the project:



"...how to… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on January 3, 2008 at 7:42am — No Comments


3D Robotics
DIY Drones Interviews

This is a list of interviews we've had with UAV/autopilot experts here at DIYDrones. Each is a multipart interview:



Curt Olson, FlightGear and UAV simulation


  • Part 1 About Curt and the basics of using an open source flight simulator for UAV…
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Added by Chris Anderson on January 2, 2008 at 8:00pm — 1 Comment


3D Robotics
Free autopilot code for the Propeller chip

If you're interested in Parallax's powerful 8-core Propeller chips, which are a huge step up from the Basic Stamps, here's some good news: a kind soul named Jason Wood has uploaded to the… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on January 1, 2008 at 10:00pm — 14 Comments


3D Robotics
DIY Drones UAV projects

Other active UAV projects on DIY Drones.

(Please add a comment if you would like your project featured here.
)





BlimpDuino, an Arduino-based autonomous indoor blimp…

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Added by Chris Anderson on January 1, 2008 at 8:00pm — 8 Comments


3D Robotics
Autopilot code projects, by processor/OS type

The following are links to code, tutorials and discussion on DIY Drones about autopilots for different embedded processors, onboard computers and operating systems. Leave a comment if you have a project that should be added here.





Ardunio Platform…

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Added by Chris Anderson on January 1, 2008 at 7:30pm — 1 Comment


3D Robotics
Jack Crossfire's UAV heli site and code

If you frequent RCGroups, you'll have encountered the wildly entertaining (and illuminating) near-daily posts of "Jack Crossfire", who's been chronicling his struggles in getting a very ambitious low-cost heli autopilot working. He has a site… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on January 1, 2008 at 1:14pm — No Comments


3D Robotics
Cool video on the Australian UAV contest (including high school contestants)

The folks behind the Australian Outback Challenge, an amateur UAV contest, have just posted a great video from their inaugural competition, held this September. It had two levels. The first, for high-school students, involved one team member controlling a R/C plane while another used onboard telemetry to guide the pilot over a target, on which they were supposed to drop a golf ball. The second, for university and above contestants, required a… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on December 30, 2007 at 9:19pm — No Comments


3D Robotics
Basic Stamp autopilot tutorial, part 3



[UPDATE: We no longer recommend this GPS module, since it's incomptible with GPS simulators. The module we do recommend, the EM406, is described here.]





Now you've got the hang of connecting components to the development board, you'll be pleased by… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on December 30, 2007 at 6:00pm — 10 Comments

From paper to UAV in one day.

As usual, I had the urge to design and build a new UAV airframe in one day. I woke up this morning and the gears in my head began turning about a new simple airframe design, so I started like I usually do with a sketch. I then moved on to cutting the basic shape out of a sheet of blu-core foam, making 2 pieces total then glueing them together with some gorilla glue. I also created a elevator and rudder using 1/4 in. foam…

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Added by JONATHAN on December 30, 2007 at 5:30pm — 3 Comments


3D Robotics
Basic Stamp autopilot tutorial, part 2

Okay, now that we have the BASIC Stamp board driving the servos, let's now have it read the R/C receiver signals. This is a simple matter of plugging in two cables from the receiver to the board. I've shown two ways in the photo here: one is with a female-to-female cable,… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on December 30, 2007 at 11:00am — 9 Comments


3D Robotics
Basic Stamp autopilot tutorial, part 1

Over in the discussion sidebar, Wayne Garris and James Hall have been working through the details of how to build a BASIC Stamp autopilot, which we use in in GeoCrawler3 (formerly 4--sorry for the… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on December 29, 2007 at 11:30pm — 15 Comments


3D Robotics
More learning from the Crossbow MNAV open source crew

The Crossbow MNAV autopilot system is a pricey (starting at $1,500) package of sensor and GPS hardware that has received a lot of attention in the amateur UAV world because Crossbow, to its credit, open sourced… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on December 28, 2007 at 8:14pm — No Comments

Loose LiPos Sink Ships



New rules from the DOT concerning airtravel and LiPo batteries. Thank goodness we have reliable Plastic Bags to protect us!!

;-)
Paul

Added by paul hubner on December 28, 2007 at 7:43pm — 3 Comments

Building a UAV for photo mapping - Kit Mods



First I must thank Jeffrey Johnson who posted a set of images of the Cularis he is building for photo mapping. He has made a really neat modification by moving the rudder and elevator servos from the stock

position in the cockpit, to tail mounting…

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Added by Paul Gregory on December 26, 2007 at 2:24am — No Comments

Building a UAV for photo mapping - Autopilot



Ahh!! CRASH and BURN!!



I had planned to use the Pico-Pilot and Pico-GPS for the autopilot in my UAV, but I have now discovered that since Jan 2007, they have been classed as MILITARY technology and are controlled by US Export License regulations. Specifically the regulations cover,…

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Added by Paul Gregory on December 23, 2007 at 8:20am — 8 Comments


3D Robotics
The difference between our autopilots and those of the pros

What do you get for the hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars cost difference between our UAVs and those of the pros? Well, a lot (even after you take out defense contractor markups). Ours are one-offs that need a lot of hand tweaking, care and knowledge to use. They have limited range and altitude, and as we know all too well, sometimes they don't… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on December 22, 2007 at 11:00pm — 5 Comments

Building a UAV for photo mapping - Packing it all in



The first image shows the recommended distribution of components for the electric version of the Cularis. (Click for higher resolution). In this configuration, the plane balances at the CGO with 3 weights (supplied in the kit) fixed under the tail plane. The component weight…

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Added by Paul Gregory on December 22, 2007 at 11:30am — 11 Comments

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