Chris Anderson's Blog (2,692)

Attempt at a 100,000 ft UAV flight

From the MAKE blog:

Here is a link to pictures of an attempt by a group of Calpoly engineers to have a UAV glider bring back pictures from 100,000 feet. After some sleepless nights and an overwhelming amount of work on hardware and software we launched a glider in California Valley. The…
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Added by Chris Anderson on June 26, 2007 at 3:45am — 1 Comment

Update 6/17

Flew the Lego Autopilot UAV and the cellphone autopilot UAV (sans cellphone) on Sunday to test some new stabilization calibration. Again, if the definition of a successful test is useful data and no crashing, this was a success, but it was a little tense at times. Lessons from these flights:



1) The Lego autopilot suffered a mechanical malfunction. One of the gear linkages came off in midair, freezing the autopilot in the "on" position. This meant that I had to fight a hard-left rudder… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on June 18, 2007 at 10:49pm — No Comments

UAV Resources

Other UAV communities:
* List here



Commerical UAVs:



* Boomerang UAV (with AttoPilot) ($15,500 foam wing)

* Procerus Kestrel ($10k foam flying wing)

*… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on June 16, 2007 at 8:30am — 2 Comments

GeoCrawler 4 (Predator airframe and AttoPilot autopilot)

Description: This UAV is not functionally very different from GeoCrawler 4, with its off-the-shelf Picopilot GPS-guided autopilot, but it's so much cooler! If you're going to build a UAV, why not make it look like a UAV?… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on June 16, 2007 at 7:30am — 12 Comments

Armed forces now has 3,200 UAVs, most of them under 10 lbs

From Wired's Danger Room blog:

Raven_uav "The number of flying robots in the American armed forces' arsenal has gone up by nearly 1400% in four years, military documents show. A relatively-modest unmanned fleet of 217 machines has grown into a 3211-drone…

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Added by Chris Anderson on June 13, 2007 at 8:02pm — No Comments

GeoCrawler 3 (BASIC Stamp autopilot)

Viking1

Description: This UAV is intended mostly as an education platform to teach you the basics of microprocessors, embedded system programming and autopilot design. It will fly, but it's not designed to be a real production UAV. That said, it demonstrates the…

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Added by Chris Anderson on June 12, 2007 at 11:00pm — 3 Comments

GeoCrawler 2 (Cellphone autopilot)

Description: This platform was inspired by the realization that almost all the hardware you need for a functioning UAV is contained in the high-end cellphone in your pocket: GPS, camera, two-way long-distance wireless data communications, onboard computing and…

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Added by Chris Anderson on June 12, 2007 at 11:00pm — 34 Comments

GeoCrawler 1 (Lego Autopilot) Instructions



[NOTE: This post describes the original version of the Lego Mindstorms autopilot, which is a navigation-only (rudder and GPS) autopilot. Since then, we have created a full navigation-and-stabilization (aileron and elevator and GPS) autopilot. However, since it uses prototype hardware that is not yet commercially available, I'm not posting full building… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on June 12, 2007 at 11:00pm — 32 Comments

Update--6/11

  1. I've updated the GeoCrawler 2 (Lego UAV) instruction page. It now has a list of steps and parts necessary to complete the compass-sensor version of the UAV. The GPS version software is still in development. That should be ready later this summer.
  2. I've switched GeoCrawler 1 (Picopilot UAV) to a more appropriate airframe.…
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Added by Chris Anderson on June 11, 2007 at 3:27pm — No Comments

Lego Autopilot first flight

My kids and I actually had the first successful test flight of the sub-$1,000 UAV two weekends ago, but I haven't had time to edit the video properly until now. The good news is that a) it didn't crash, and b) it works. We tested stabilization, autonomous navigation (only using compass headings this time, although GPS is in the works), and the real-time video downlink. Everything worked well enough that we're able to see what we have to improve, which is the definition of a successful…

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Added by Chris Anderson on May 28, 2007 at 8:25am — No Comments

First test flight

May 13th, first test flight of both the Lego UAV and the stealth "minimum" UAV at Alameda Naval Air Station. Video coming soon.

'

Subsytems tested:



--Flight stabilization: Worked. a little rocking, but nothing too serious

--Autopilot: Sort of worked. Rudder throw needs to be increased. Heading change induced expected counter force by stabalization, which increased rocking. As a result the turning was very gradual. That needs to… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on May 15, 2007 at 10:32pm — No Comments

GeoCrawler 4 (Picopilot off-the-shelf autopilot)

Hla114

Description: This UAV, which uses an off-the-shelf autopilot, is the reference platform against which we benchmark the more innovative (and cheaper) custom UAVs that are our main focus at DIY Drones.

The video system listed below, which streams realtime video via a 2.4 GhZ wireless…

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Added by Chris Anderson on May 12, 2007 at 11:00pm — 6 Comments

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