Chris Anderson's Blog (2,695)

2017 DIY Drones year in review

2017 was our tenth year, and since one drone year is like ten regular years, we're practically a century old! A few thoughts on the past twelve months:

First, we've continued to grow here, although not as fast as the boom years from 2012 to 2015 (see above)

More importantly, the two open source software projects that spun out of this community,…


Added by Chris Anderson on January 2, 2018 at 7:30pm — 2 Comments

Drones become the star of Chinese airshows

From the New York Times: …


Added by Chris Anderson on December 28, 2017 at 9:21pm — No Comments

Guy Pearce plays a modified DJI Phantom in "Donny the Drone"

"Donny the Drone" is voiced by Guy Pearce in this new sci-fi short featuring a modified DJI Phantom.



Added by Chris Anderson on December 26, 2017 at 4:30pm — 2 Comments

Pixhawk Mini now just $92 on Amazon

Crazy good deal on the best autopilot for small drones and rovers. This deal won't last long.  Free shipping for Prime members.

Includes GPS, power module, 8-channel servo rail expander for planes and designed for latest Dronecode/PX4 and…


Added by Chris Anderson on December 22, 2017 at 1:44pm — 3 Comments

FCC fines FPV dronemaker for illegal radios

From Hackaday:

The commission just levied a $180,000 fine on a company in Florida for selling…


Added by Chris Anderson on December 21, 2017 at 12:50am — 2 Comments

Dronecode/PX4 1.7 out now, biggest release to date

We are happy to announce the release of PX4 v1.7.0, this version comes packed with performance and quality of life improvements. With 1840 commits with the help of 76 authors and hundreds of flight hours across all of our certified hardware, this is the biggest release of PX4 to date.

This release couldn’t have happened without the help of our supporting members,…


Added by Chris Anderson on December 17, 2017 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Interesting insight into what bugs in jetliner autopilots look like

From a FAA alert about a bug in the Rockwell Collins autopilot that is used in many jetliners. Interesting, it's easier for them to fix the airport database that these autopilots use than the autopilot code itself, although that will be coming…


Added by Chris Anderson on December 12, 2017 at 12:11am — No Comments

Vision of a full-automated farm drone system

This is still in the prototype stage, but it's an inspiring vision of what farm drones could someday be

Added by Chris Anderson on December 8, 2017 at 8:35am — 6 Comments

University of Warwick Pixhawk-powered rescue drone team profiled by Autodesk

Impressive work by the University of Warwick, who are designing a Pixhawk-powered drone from search and rescue. Above, a test device for Pixhawk. Below, a mold for the carbon-fiber mold. 



Added by Chris Anderson on December 2, 2017 at 5:36pm — No Comments

Blimpduino 2.0 getting closer!

Good news from the JJRobot/MRo collaboration: 

We got the Blimpduino control board ready! After 3 months of testing a bunch of sensors and polishing the design (thx for the help…


Added by Chris Anderson on December 2, 2017 at 1:58pm — No Comments

Human vs AI drone racing


The race, held on Oct. 12, capped off two years of research into drone autonomy funded by Google. The company was interested in JPL's work with vision-based…


Added by Chris Anderson on November 23, 2017 at 12:41am — 2 Comments

First pass at a Drone family tree diagram

For a presentation I'm doing I tried to explain how the modern drone industry grew out of the intersection of two communities, RC and robotics, and although they didn't merge, they did both evolve. 

Here's where this community comes in, bridging those two…


Added by Chris Anderson on November 22, 2017 at 5:46pm — 4 Comments

Pixhawk Mini now just $139


Last year, we introduced the Pixhawk Mini, a small, efficient autopilot designed in collaboration with HobbyKing specifically for the Dronecode PX4 1.6 stack. It’s been put to work on a variety of projects, and many of you use it to build DIY quads, planes,…


Added by Chris Anderson on November 21, 2017 at 5:30pm — 6 Comments

Preview of upcoming Dronecode/PX4 multi-camera VIO feature

Visual Inertial Odometry (VIO) is a way to do position estimation and navigation without GPS, which is both useful for drones inside and for self-driving cars. Coming to the next release of the Dronecode/PX4 stack. 

Added by Chris Anderson on November 20, 2017 at 5:47pm — 9 Comments

Great YouTube channel on using Dronekit, APM

Tiziano Fiorenzani, an Italian engineer now working in the US, has one of the best YouTube channels on using open source drone software, especially, APM, Dronekit and Python. Above is just one example, on Drone Delivery with Python:

We are going to write a script that connects with the vehicle and waits for the operator…


Added by Chris Anderson on November 19, 2017 at 4:02pm — 3 Comments

DIY Drones now at 86,000 users

It's customary and traditional that we celebrate the addition of every 1,000 new members here and share the traffic stats. We've now passed 86,000 members! We're also more than ten years old!

Rather than simply give the usual monthly traffic snapshot, I thought I'd give the data for the whole decade, which tells quite a story. 

  • First, some amazing…

Added by Chris Anderson on October 20, 2017 at 1:20pm — 3 Comments

Blimpduino flies again!

Ten years after this site started with its first project, a robotic blimp called Blimpduino, two long time friends here, Jordi Munoz and Jose Julio, are relaunching it in a new improved form. It's called, unsurprisingly, Blimpduino 2.0, and you can see the progress here

The is new…


Added by Chris Anderson on October 3, 2017 at 3:37pm — 1 Comment

"MVP" computer vision rover with OpenMV for less than $90

This is the cheapest good computer vision autonomous car you can make — less than $85! It uses the fantastic OpenMV camera, with its easy-to-use software and IDE, as well as a low-cost chassis that is fast enough for student use. It can follow lanes of any color, objects, faces and…


Added by Chris Anderson on October 1, 2017 at 9:30pm — 6 Comments

Eagles vs Drones (spoiler: Eagles win)

From the Wall Street Journal:

SYDNEY— Daniel Parfitt thought he’d found the perfect drone for a two-day mapping job in a remote patch of the Australian Outback. The roughly $80,000 machine had a wingspan of 7 feet and…


Added by Chris Anderson on September 30, 2017 at 5:08pm — 10 Comments

Our DIY Robocars sister community in the news

Jalopnik covers our DIY Robocars sister community. If you're in the Bay Area or one of the other half-dozen areas with these races, join us!  We'll also be competing in the Sparkfun AVC in Denver in October,

Added by Chris Anderson on September 26, 2017 at 7:02am — 5 Comments

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