Cory's Blog (10)

Cheap 6 Degree Of Freedom Inertial Measurement Unit

I have finished my Master's Degree, and so I have to return all of the planes and paparazzi hardware which the school bought for my project. So I have begun working on my next project. So far I have purchased a cheap ($100 receiver ready + 2 free lipos!) 2 meter electric glider from Hobby City so that I can continue to fly. If it has enough space in the fuselage,… Continue

Added by Cory on January 9, 2009 at 11:32am — 2 Comments

Getting Started With Paparazzi

I think for the hobbyist, the only real choice is an open source autopilot. Unfortunately with a closed source solution, you are stuck with the feature set that the developer wants you to have. Another major advantage of open source autopilots is that reading the source code is a valuable learning, and troubleshooting tool. Even if you never intend to modify the code, just being able to look at it can be enough to resolve a problem.

In my… Continue

Added by Cory on October 31, 2008 at 11:30am — 16 Comments

List of suggested skills for someone who wants to DIY a DRONE

I made this non exhaustive list of skills which are nice to have if you want to build your own UAV.

I think a basic handle on all of these skills will greatly help anyone who wants to build a UAV. If you want to build a UAV, and lack a lot of these skills, don't take this to mean you cannot do it, just understand the magnitude of the difficulty, and be prepared to press on in the face of adversity and to teach yourself a lot. When I decided to build a UAV, I had never even flown an… Continue

Added by Cory on October 29, 2008 at 7:46pm — 7 Comments

Paparazzi installed in airframe, nearly ready to fly.

I am happy to report that I have installed the paparazzi autopilot in one of my airframes and have done some ground testing. So far the results are positive. The telemetry works well (at short range at least), and the aircraft reports proper position and attitude. When the aircraft is held at an angle, the control surfaces move to compensate, and the behavior of the control surfaces looks correct.

In the picture below, all of the autopilot system except for the radio modem can be… Continue

Added by Cory on August 20, 2008 at 11:40am — 3 Comments

Lithium Polymer Batteries and Chargers mini-primer

Lithium Polymer batteries are an attractive power source for electric flight due to their high energy density. The combination of lithium polymer batteries and brushless motors now rivals glow power in terms of power and duration.

The main difficulty when using lithium polymer batteries is choosing what batteries and charger to use. Batteries are specified in terms of voltage, capacity, and discharge rating.

Voltage is generally listed as 1S - 6S. The S number refers to… Continue

Added by Cory on July 23, 2008 at 11:04am — 7 Comments

Arduino GPS shield with SD card logging.

I saw this yesterday over on the Make blog. Adafruit has come out with a new Arduino shield which looks excellent for UAV usage. The shield has support for several gps modules, and can log data to an SD card.

Even with the GPS and SD card, there are still 5 digital and 5 analog IO open.

Here are the details(text below lifted from

GPS shield for Arduino kit with data-logging capability. After building this easy… Continue

Added by Cory on July 1, 2008 at 7:37am — 1 Comment

NexStarEP RTF mini review

This is a mini review of the Hobbico NexStarEP RTF. It currently costs $399 from tower hobbies There is a much more detailed review of the model here at That review is from a pure RC perspective. I am writing this to highlight the UAV friendly features of the NexStar.

I… Continue

Added by Cory on April 18, 2008 at 8:50am — 3 Comments

UAV Project Progress - flight gear simulation, first steps

I am working on using flight gear to simulate and test my UAV code. The screen shot shows flight gear and the C# application that is receiving the data. the way I see it, the first step is to read some data out of flight gear. I am using a TCP socket to read the data. I have achieved display of the raw string of data. My next step will be to parse the data into meaningful bits. I have been looking all over the net for information on using flight… Continue

Added by Cory on March 18, 2008 at 8:22pm — 2 Comments

Autonomous UAV Aerobatics Project

here are two notes below that describe the fantastic video demonstration of the MIT Autonomous Airplane Indoor Flying test. Keep your eye on this page for more info in the future.

"In these flight tests, a fixed vertical landing platform was designed and attached to a concrete pole in the middle of the RAVEN flight space to allow the fixed-wing aircraft to land and perch on the pole.… Continue

Added by Cory on March 18, 2008 at 6:54pm — 3 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

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