All Blog Posts (13,629)

UAV causes media stir.

Go here first.

Is more being made of this than is necessary?? I wonder why the reporters spin did not point towards the environmental benefit of UAV's less gas than the helicopter. The newscopter that was chasing, is that not invading the privacy of some police officers on a private farm??…


Added by Gary Mortimer on November 23, 2007 at 2:12am — 7 Comments

3D Robotics
A budget for a high-end amateur UAV

An amateur UAV maker in Los Angeles built a UAV designed to fly 21 miles, from Long Beach to Catalina Island and back. It was notable especially for having the motor moved to a pylon above the wing and a pan-tilt gimbal camera put in the nose instead (see picture). This thread about it on RC…


Added by Chris Anderson on November 22, 2007 at 10:32pm — No Comments

3D Robotics
Use an open-source flight simulator to test your UAVs

Tom Pycke, who is one of the more sophisticated UAV hobbyists, has a good post showing how to use the open-source Flight Gear simulator program to test your autopilot code.

He begins:

"A lot of people think they need great electronics skills, a lot of time, and embedded programming skills to experiment with Kalman filtering of IMU-data. Think again! The key to all your success stories is…


Added by Chris Anderson on November 21, 2007 at 8:23pm — 4 Comments

3D Robotics
MAKE magazine on DIY blimp UAVs

The cover of MAKE magazine this month is a how-to on "blubberbots", which are small indoor blimp UAVs (story only for subscribers for the moment--subscribe! It's worth it). You can buy a kit from the MAKE store for $99 that will allow…


Added by Chris Anderson on November 18, 2007 at 5:23pm — 2 Comments

3D Robotics
Antarctic mini-UAVs--will they come back?!?

These scientists describe their UAV project at the South Pole. Sound familiar?

"Flying a mission is always a little scary. Tom, the project engineer and pilot, stands by with his remote control and flies it a little until a stable flight is acheived, then…


Added by Chris Anderson on November 18, 2007 at 5:06pm — 8 Comments

3D Robotics
The best programming language for Lego Mindstorms, hands down

Play around with Lego Mindstorms NXT enough and at some point you'll inevitably get frustrated with NXT-G, its graphical programming language of "blocks" that you drag around and connect with "wires". It's great for teaching kids the basics, but once they embark on anything remotely ambitious they're bound to run into trouble. Whether it's the crazy sprawl of blocks over the work area (even a simple loop can require screens of slow horizontal scrolling), the lack of floating point…


Added by Chris Anderson on November 12, 2007 at 3:22pm — 6 Comments

Interesting looking airframe

Whilst perusing RC groups I came across this challenger review, looks just the job for aerial photos, combining size (lifting ability) and a rear mounted engine. I'm sure it would'nt take too much effort to make this a tail dragger. No prop in forward facing shots.

Whilst your there its worth having a look at… Continue

Added by Gary Mortimer on November 5, 2007 at 1:09pm — 3 Comments

3D Robotics
Watch the DARPA Urban Challenge Live--NOW!

If you ask me, this is better than NASCAR. The DARPA Urban Challenge (robot cars race though a town) is being webcast live now.

Very well done live video is here, with color commentators, helicopter views and tons of team cams. Go…


Added by Chris Anderson on November 3, 2007 at 10:40am — 3 Comments

Load Calculator links

Well good old Google as ever comes up trumps...

I'm sure there are many others that people know about.

Perhaps there should be a page of useful…


Added by Gary Mortimer on November 1, 2007 at 10:53pm — No Comments

Tring to get started

So i found this page after i watched the DIY UAV segment on wired the other day, and it has been something that i have been interesting in trying to do ever since i saw the preditor and the global hawk. But i just didnt know where to start, and the ideas that i had would have ended up costing thousand of dollars. so im really happy to find a group of people interested in doing the same thing.

so enogh about that. i was looking around the interenet today tring to find suitable aircraft… Continue

Added by uavdiyutah on November 1, 2007 at 6:26pm — 7 Comments

And on looking at the E6B

It would seem that being +30 at 4000' means something, which of course I already knew, but just what is the drop in performance on a 50 odd inch wing trainer??

What magic program or website could tell me that to lift lets say an extra 1KG of equipment at a density altitude of 7000' the aircraft would need to be X wingspan with Y power up front??

There must be…


Added by Gary Mortimer on November 1, 2007 at 10:52am — No Comments

Back home

Settled back in South Africa after the glorious world cup rugby victory!! A storm is brewing outside so can't stay long!

I have been itching to get a shot of animals to start the process of getting software to spot them for me (grown ups will work that out)

It also crossed my mind whilst flying down to South Africa that a Zagi or some such flying wing would be a very robust platform to play with. Having never flown a powered flying wing I made up a balsa box for engine and…


Added by Gary Mortimer on November 1, 2007 at 6:49am — No Comments

NASA's Ikhana UAV over SoCal Fires

Looks like NASAs Ikhana UAV is the first over the fires here in our backyard. The PE Crew will be out shooting imagery with our DIY systems in the next several days. Stay Tuned!

RELEASE: 07-58

NASA Aircraft Aiding Southern California Firefighting Effort

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE – In response to a request from the… Continue

Added by Jeffrey Johnson on October 24, 2007 at 7:49pm — No Comments

Help needed


Added by Tom Mason on October 24, 2007 at 2:46pm — 2 Comments

3D Robotics
See DIY Drones on PBS tonight!

The mini-documentary on amateur UAVs that we were filming at our fly-in at the Alameda Naval Airstation earlier this year will be broadcast as the lead-off feature in Wired Science tonight, Wed Oct 24. It's 8:00pm in most markets, but check your local listings for

You can… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on October 24, 2007 at 7:42am — No Comments

Back in the air - for about 10 seconds

The flight

My new parts arrived on Friday. Included in the order was a new RC plane (Firebird Phantom) as well - it turned out that it was cheaper to add the complete model to the order rather than ordering each of the parts separately. So, on Saturday morning, I took my new bird out for another spin.

The winds were much closer to ideal this time, and I imagine they were well within the tolerance of the UAV to maintain control - given a reasonably competent… Continue

Added by Pierre McCann on October 21, 2007 at 11:59am — 5 Comments

Parallax Propeller as an Autopilot - Bench test

I've been working on and off toward creating an autopilot using the Parallax Propeller microprocessor and finally have something to show for it. My autopilot has the following features:

  • Return to starting point when pilot looses the plane
OK. It's not a very large feature set yet, but it is both a personally… Continue

Added by paul hubner on October 16, 2007 at 9:02am — 6 Comments

3D Robotics
My labs incident makes the local paper

"Wired editor flies into security kerfuffle" reads the front-page article in the Contra Costa Times. Here's an excerpt:

"Not even the bucolic Berkeley hills are immune to security concerns in a post-Sept. 11 world, as the editor in chief of Wired magazine has discovered.

Chris Anderson, a 45-year-old Berkeley resident and aerial-reconnaissance enthusiast, sparked a minor security scare Sunday…


Added by Chris Anderson on October 12, 2007 at 10:59pm — No Comments

3D Robotics
Lesson: Don't fly planes over secure National Labs!

I had the wackiest near-catastrophe this weekend. My kids and I were running aerial mapping patterns over the Lawrence Berkeley Labs cyclotron (which is very distinctive from the air) and testing some ISO settings on the Pentax A30. Because we were over a built-up area and had to hand launch and recover from a hillside, we…


Added by Chris Anderson on October 12, 2007 at 12:20pm — 8 Comments

Pylon Mount for my engine.

I've just made something that I have meant too for ages. A pylon mount for my electric engine.

Why you ask why.

Well it frees up the nose of the aircraft so it can carry a camera that does not see a propeller.

I made it so my battery pack fitted into the base. That has freed up an awful lot of fuselage space for whatever. It also lends some weight to the base to counter act the torque that… Continue

Added by Gary Mortimer on October 9, 2007 at 2:59pm — 2 Comments

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