Chris Anderson's Blog – February 2011 Archive (39)

Interesting: using tethered UAVs for wind energy

A couple startup companies are trying to create a new market for wind energy from "kites", which are really tethered UAVs flying circular patterns. Energy is generated by the props, which drive motors to act as turbines. The two are Makani Power, which is funded by…

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Added by Chris Anderson on February 28, 2011 at 5:00pm — 1 Comment

APM 2.0 preview with Xplane sim and MAVLink





This is a video of the pre-release alpha of ArduPilotMega 2.0 flying a hardware-in-the-loop sim with Xplane, the HK GCS and the Mission Planner. 100% MAVLink communications, on both Xbee and USB, simultaneously. Go… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on February 26, 2011 at 12:12am — 21 Comments

Neighborhood "pocket airports" for tomorrow's UAVs?

Somehow I missed this when it came out in December, but NASA is running a competition for low-cost, energy-efficient autonomously-pilot passenger vehicles, which would take off and land from small "pocket airports" in neighborhoods. NASA is hoping for a winner of the autonomous challenge by 2015.

Gizmag has the…

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Added by Chris Anderson on February 25, 2011 at 9:28pm — 1 Comment

Check out the GCS (and new soundtrack!) in the X-47B first flight video

I know this is a military drone, which we don't cover here, but I was taken by the screen shots of the ground control center of the X-47B, which had its first flight a few weeks ago. HappyKillmore--yours looks way better!

The…

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Added by Chris Anderson on February 25, 2011 at 9:00pm — 8 Comments

New IMU board for Paparazzi--but is it open source?

The Paparazzi team have released a new IMU board called Asprin. It's just the accelerometers, gyros and magnetometer sensors (no processor) and is available for…

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Added by Chris Anderson on February 25, 2011 at 12:00pm — 43 Comments

List of all 3D Robotics retailers and distributors

 

We've now got more than 40 retailers and distributors selling 3D Robotics gear around the world, in addition to the main store here. You may want to shop at one near you, both to save on shipping and support local robotics companies.

 

If you want to become a 3D Robotics distributor, please email partnerships@3drobotics.com for…

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Added by Chris Anderson on February 24, 2011 at 11:30pm — 46 Comments

Festo-style flying fish coming out as toys





If you admired Festo's lovely RC airfish but didn't have a zillion dollars to spend on one, no fear: you'll soon be able to buy a toy version, called AirSwimmers. Just begging to be made autonomous! A good use for your old Blimpduino boards...

 

Festo's original:…

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Added by Chris Anderson on February 23, 2011 at 4:37pm — 3 Comments

ROS+Arduino update

As we've mentioned before, our long term plan for ArduPilot includes it being compatible with Willow Garage's Robot Operating System as a "ROS Node", which is to say that it can communicate with ground computers running ROS for things like swarming and multi-UAV control. The Willow Garage team is supporting this, too, and…

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Added by Chris Anderson on February 23, 2011 at 12:34pm — 4 Comments

More ArduCopter GPS and Alt hold on a Hex frame





More great work from Norf. Check out that excellent GPS… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on February 19, 2011 at 2:11pm — 6 Comments

Laser cut your own ArduCopter replacement parts

I keep breaking my ArduCopter arches, so rather than order replacements, I just laser cut my own through Ponoko. I've uploaded the design, so you can do it too.  Select 3mm clear acrylic, P1 size. It should cost $8.20 plus…

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Added by Chris Anderson on February 19, 2011 at 11:00am — 54 Comments

Excellent ArduCopter GPS and Altitude hold with latest ArduPirates code





The awesome Norf has posted a test of the latest ArduPirates code showing GPS and altitude hold in a 15 kmh wind.… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on February 18, 2011 at 2:24pm — 5 Comments

New DIY Drones distributor in Europe

I'm pleased to pass on the news that Martin has launched Build Your Own Drone, a full-featured DIY Drones distributor based in the UK.  They're selling everything from…

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Added by Chris Anderson on February 17, 2011 at 7:09am — 8 Comments

Indiana State starts a UAS program for students

The new program is designed to prepare students for civilian uses of UAVs. But don't expect to get a BS in UAVs quite yet: "Currently the unmanned systems operations program is a minor, but ISU hopes to expand it into a bachelor’s degree and a full-fledged master’s program."



Here's an excerpt from… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on February 14, 2011 at 9:12pm — 3 Comments

Here's the page for local DIY Drones fly/meetup groups. Add yours (or make one)!

Our Bay Area UAV Fliers group is up and running (we had a flight/meetup today), and I'm sure there are others. I'm going to make this page a collection of all the local DIY Drones groups, and link to it from the Members tab in the menus…

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Added by Chris Anderson on February 13, 2011 at 8:30pm — 179 Comments

Want a plug-and-play ArduPilotMega or ArduCopter? Check out uDrones!

One of the top requests we get at DIY Drones is for ready-to-fly autopilots and UAVs. Lots of people aren't comfortable soldering, loading software and otherwise configuring electronics. Others don't have the time to learn the ropes. And everyone wants to avoid the risk of possibly getting it wrong and ruining electronics in…

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Added by Chris Anderson on February 12, 2011 at 8:57am — 3 Comments

More great ArduCopter videos from the Pirates

Hexacopter version or ArduPiratesNG code with GPS position and altitude hold, and ultrasonics low altitude hold.

 …

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Added by Chris Anderson on February 11, 2011 at 11:34pm — 1 Comment

Paparazzi ported to MacOSX

We don't hear much about Paparazzi here, which may be due to any number of factors: Linux-only software, frequently unavailable hardware and an older thermopile design that has had a bumpy road to the IMU era. But the first of those problems may be coming to an end. The Paparazzi team has announced that an initial release… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on February 11, 2011 at 10:24pm — 24 Comments

Big news on the law enforcment side: sheriff gets blanket permission to use sUAS

Gary at sUAS news has an important story on what looks like the first blanket permission to use sUAS (in this case, a RC multicopter with a camera) by a law enforcement agency in…

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Added by Chris Anderson on February 11, 2011 at 4:30pm — 15 Comments

Mailing list for San Francisco-area DIY Drones members

After last weekend's fun San Francisco-area fly-in, I've had a number of requests to set up a local mailing lists for people who would like to get together for similar meetups. So I've set up a Google Group for the…

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Added by Chris Anderson on February 11, 2011 at 12:09am — 6 Comments

New from HobbyKing: parafoil gondola

Looks pretty cool--more pictures here. No word on release date, price, and availability of the… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on February 10, 2011 at 3:43pm — 9 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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