Chris Anderson's Blog (2,692)

Introducing OpenSolo!

Big news! Reposting from the 3DR blog. Also see the ArduPilot Team announcement here

When we launched Solo back in 2015, one of its selling points was that it was based on the open source ArduPilot software, the project that…


Added by Chris Anderson on August 3, 2017 at 10:00am — 13 Comments

Dronecode updates for July: new QGroundControl, FPGA autopilot, PX4 1.6

Lots of news and updates from the Dronecode team this month: 

1) The Aerotenna OcPoC autopilot (video above) now supports the Dronecode/PX4 software stack!

● FPGA and dual-core ARM processors in…


Added by Chris Anderson on July 22, 2017 at 6:30pm — No Comments

DIY Drones at 85,000 members -- a look back at an extraordinary decade

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 85,000 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 July 6, 2017 at 6:00pm — 9 Comments

ArduPilot, PX4 dominate AUVSI drone competition

When we got started ten years ago, the annual AUVSI student drone competition was dominated by commercial autopilots, such as Piccolo. Now it's almost entirely open source autopilots, led by ArduPilot (14 of top 20) and Dronecode/PX4 (3 of top twenty). I'm super proud of this having co-founded ArduPilot and now leading Dronecode. Only one commercial autopilot in top twenty --…


Added by Chris Anderson on June 26, 2017 at 10:00am — 10 Comments

How do modern open source autopilots compare to aerospace-grade IMUs?

I noticed that Digikey is now selling Honeywell's newest aerospace-grade IMUs, which cost $1,328 each (note that's just for the IMU; it's not a full autopilot). How do the specs of these aerospace IMUs compare to…


Added by Chris Anderson on June 20, 2017 at 10:21am — 59 Comments

Intel cancels Edison, Joule boards

It was well known that Edison was going to be discontinued this year, but Joule, which was just released, is a surprise. This is bad news for any autopilot board that uses Edison, such as Pixhawk 2.1, which will now have to move to another companion computer. (I'd suggest Raspberry Pi). From …


Added by Chris Anderson on June 19, 2017 at 5:50am — 19 Comments

NASA webinar on drone crash-avoidance technology using APM copters

Is it flattering that NASA uses a 3DR Y6 to teach "crash management" techniques? I'm going with yes! Register here

ASA’s Langley Research Center is offering a free informational webinar on its  autonomous…


Added by Chris Anderson on June 16, 2017 at 3:33pm — No Comments

Nvidia demos visual navigation on 3DR Iris+

From Nvidia: Here's the full paper.

Most drones would be lost without GPS. Not this one.

A drone developed by NVIDIA researchers navigates even the most far-flung,…


Added by Chris Anderson on June 13, 2017 at 6:30am — 4 Comments

New two-motor VTOL from Horizon

This kind of 2-motor vertical take-off plane was a PhD thesis 2 years ago, a TED talk 1 year ago & now it's a $150 toy. From…


Added by Chris Anderson on June 10, 2017 at 9:24pm — 3 Comments

Dronecode/PX4 1.6 code released!

From the Dronecode release post:

We’re very excited to announce the release of PX4 v1.6, the latest version of the Dronecode Flight Stack (PX4 Pro). This firmware represents a huge…


Added by Chris Anderson on June 7, 2017 at 12:52pm — No Comments

Updating the "red balloon finder" to use OpenMV cam

Awesome post from Patrick Poirier in the OpenMV forums (OpenMV is my favorite computer vision board, and what I use on our DIY Robocars autonomous racers).


This project…


Added by Chris Anderson on June 5, 2017 at 1:00pm — 3 Comments

Test stats for next Dronecode/PX4 code release

This week the Dronecode/PX4 team will release its biggest and best update, version 1.6. You can see a glimpse of the testing that went into it with our public test log server here

Along with all the automated code and flight simulator testing, there are more than 100 hours of real-world…


Added by Chris Anderson on May 29, 2017 at 12:09pm — No Comments

Comparing two low-cost scanning Lidars

Excerpted from a new post at our DIY Robocars sister site

It’s now possible to buy small scanning 2D Lidars for less than $400 these days,…


Added by Chris Anderson on May 28, 2017 at 5:00pm — 7 Comments

Using voice to command a drone by translating any GPS location to three unique words

An Australian IT services company combined an Amazon Alexa and a service called "what3words" that translates GPS addresses into three unique words to create a MAVLink-compatible drone that can be commanded entirely by voice. The video can't be embedded, so see it …


Added by Chris Anderson on May 25, 2017 at 7:27am — 1 Comment

Lovely story about a poor kid in rural China who sells exquisite models of Chinese planes for almost no profit

These aren't drones per se, but I can help but post this story by Owen Churchill in Sixthtone, which exemplifies the DIY spirit. 

CHONGQING, Southwest China — Dismembered remote-controlled airplanes lie strewn across an…


Added by Chris Anderson on May 24, 2017 at 7:22am — 10 Comments

Follow-me with dynamic obstacle avoidance

From New Atlas, a writeup on new research from ETH and MIT:

Thanks to new research from MIT and ETH Zurich, however, it may soon be possible for drones to autonomously follow along with an actor, keeping their face framed "just right" the whole time –…


Added by Chris Anderson on May 18, 2017 at 1:16pm — No Comments

Pixhawk-powered rover wins 2017 RoboMagellan competition

Congrats to Marco Walter, who won the the 2017 RoboMagellan competition at RoboGames with a rover that used Pixhawk + Ardurover + Odroid U3

Added by Chris Anderson on May 11, 2017 at 4:26pm — 1 Comment

Drone learns to fly by crashing (a lot)

Excerpt from the IEEE Spectrum article:

“Learning to Fly by Crashing,” a paper from CMU roboticists Dhiraj Gandhi, Lerrel Pinto, and Abhinav Gupta,…


Added by Chris Anderson on May 10, 2017 at 1:39pm — 2 Comments

Navy wins DARPA swarm challenge

Air Force came in second. Most seem to be using 3DR Pixhawks by the looks of the teaser video. Final video coming soon

Added by Chris Anderson on May 8, 2017 at 11:08pm — 4 Comments

Review of the $50 Jevois computer vision camera/computer

Full review at our sister site, DIY Robocars, here, but this is how it starts:

I’m a huge fan of the …


Added by Chris Anderson on May 7, 2017 at 3:30pm — 4 Comments

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Season Two of the Trust Time Trial (T3) Contest 
A list of all T3 contests is here. The current round, the Vertical Horizontal one, is here

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