Scott Berfield's Blog (12)

Occulus Rift for FPV

Was wondering when someone would get this working.

Over on, they have a writeup with video of using the Occulus Rift as an FPV headset.…


Added by Scott Berfield on July 16, 2013 at 10:41am — 4 Comments

New Generation Kinect Available for WIndows Soon

Not strictly Drone related, but if the weight and power requirements are manageable, the new Kinect sensor from Microsoft could be pretty amazing as a navigation/obstacle avoidance/3D mapping tool. And it can see in the dark and read your pulse rate.

From …


Added by Scott Berfield on June 26, 2013 at 3:57pm — 7 Comments

Rotorwing using Magnus Effect

I have never seen anything like this, but I want one. Apparently the rotating cylinder creates lift through something called the Magnus Effect.

Added by Scott Berfield on June 6, 2013 at 11:58pm — 11 Comments

Google Investing in Drone Tech


Echoing a company belief in autonomous systems, clever algorithms, and replacing fallible humans with smart machines, Google's venture capital arm announced yesterday that it is investing $10.7 million in a company that makes drone brains.…


Added by Scott Berfield on May 17, 2013 at 10:00am — 9 Comments

Checking out my new GoPro - and learning not to accidentally enter Simple Mode

We had a dry day today so I thought I would try out the GoPro Hero 2 I got for Christmas. All went well until I accidentally hit the switch for Simple mode without realizing it. Camera mount popped off and was fine, and I lost one prop nut. Could have been lots worse. Let this be a lesson...

Added by Scott Berfield on January 13, 2013 at 7:00pm — 6 Comments

H-Quad Ready for Tuning

Got everything hooked up except the sonar and i tlooks like a dry weekend coming so hopefully I can get out and do some tuning and flying. Went with 11x4.7 props since the weight is a little higher than I had planned. May swap the arms for wood if flight times are too short.






Added by Scott Berfield on January 11, 2013 at 12:25am — 1 Comment

H-Quad Part 2

Here's where I am so far on the H I started before the holidays. Ended up trimming the arms and drilling out some of the plates to lessen the weight. Will likely add some CF rods as prop protection during the tuning process.


Using 10x4.7 props for now, though the motors could handle larger. Testing has it hover at just under 50% throttle, so I think I am in a good place. Not tuned yet - that's next when the rain lets up.


The APM is enclosed…


Added by Scott Berfield on January 6, 2013 at 9:30pm — 2 Comments

New Project - H-Quad

With the non-stop rain around here, I haven't been able to do any flying, so I decided to start a new project. Since I want to do FPV eventually, I went with an H frame layout. Not much to show yet, but all the bits are collected, so it should go together fast.


Decided to make the arms a bit longer than needed to act as prop protectors.

Components right now:

3/4" Square aluminum tubing for arms

1/8" G10 Fiberglass body…


Added by Scott Berfield on December 22, 2012 at 6:00pm — 12 Comments

Adding External LED Indicators and a Piezo Beeper for Arm and GPS Status


I am using the APM 2 for both my quads and it is tricky to get the barometer covered to avoid errant airflow since it is below the daughterboard. To solve this, I ended up pretty much filling up my stack cover with breathable foam. But once that was done, I could barely see the on-board LED indicators.

Fortunately, the current code supports remote…


Added by Scott Berfield on November 13, 2012 at 9:30pm — 119 Comments

Gimbal support on APM - dead easy

I wasn't sure what would be involved in getting a simple gimbal (in my case, just a tilt platform really) hooked up and working, but it was dead easy.

My wife recently made me a present of a GoPro Hero 2 and a tilt-mount.

This is a cheap little thing, but it fits the frame I have and it comes with the servo, and it was a gift - so you can't…


Added by Scott Berfield on November 13, 2012 at 11:00am — 17 Comments

Finally got around to posting pics

Finally got around to taking pics of my two quads.


The first is my original unit. The frame is an X525 from a kit from GoodLuckBuy. The kit came with everything including a KK board, but I built it with the APM instead. I have since replaced the motors, landing gear, and ESCs. Current setup:


Exceed 1050KV motors

10 x 4.5 CF…


Added by Scott Berfield on November 7, 2012 at 6:00pm — 1 Comment

Seattle Police Consider Using Drones

We had quite a show last week as the Seattle Police held a public meeting to discuss their plans to use small surveillance drones for various purposes. Protesters made the meeting pretty much useless - lots of loud concern over civil liberties. I fear the coverage of offensive weaponized drones combined with a general concern over past misbehaviors by…


Added by Scott Berfield on October 29, 2012 at 9:08am — 41 Comments

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