Chris Anderson's Blog – March 2016 Archive (29)

3D-printed bat drone

From the video description:

A microprocessor-based onboard computer, a 6 DOF IMU sensor package, five DC motors with encoder feedback for flapping and wing articulation (asymmetric wing folding and leg/tail control), power/comm electronics, carbon-fiber frame, 3D printed parts, and silicone based membrane wings -- all at 92…


Added by Chris Anderson on March 31, 2016 at 3:25pm — 5 Comments

Amazon patents drone propellers that can say "watch out"

Spotted by The Register:

Amazon has filed a fascinating patent for automated aerial vehicle (AAV) technology.

The invention has two aspects,…


Added by Chris Anderson on March 31, 2016 at 2:50pm — 8 Comments

NASA using an IRIS+ for methane detection

Love this report from NASA, via Space Daily:

NASA’s Gas-Sniffing Drone Can Spot Methane Leaks More Accurately Than Previous Instruments

As part of a project to improve safety in the energy…


Added by Chris Anderson on March 31, 2016 at 10:41am — No Comments

Great example of 5-axis multipoint cablecam with a Solo

This is a great demo of the new multipoint cablecam feature on Solo, with five-axis splines and smoothed timing on each path. All programmed with a few button presses.  There's simple autonomy and there's Hollywood-turned-into-an-app autonomy -- and this is just a glimpse of what you can do with Dronekit on Solo

Added by Chris Anderson on March 30, 2016 at 10:30pm — 4 Comments

3DR, Yuneec and DJI launch UAS notification system with Airmap

From the press release:

AirMap and American Association of Airport Executives Launch UAS Notice System


Added by Chris Anderson on March 30, 2016 at 5:38am — 9 Comments

FAA raises commercial drone altitutude to 400ft

From the FAA press release:

March 29- After a comprehensive risk analysis, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has raised the unmanned aircraft (UAS) “blanket” altitude…


Added by Chris Anderson on March 29, 2016 at 9:20pm — 8 Comments

New FAA report predicts "explosive growth" of UAVs

A new report from the US FAA predicts that UAVs will be "the most dynamic sector in aviation". From the press release:

A key portion of the forecast focuses on projections for the growth in the use of…


Added by Chris Anderson on March 26, 2016 at 10:01pm — 5 Comments

Who knew? This is the Parrot CEO's daughter

Parrot CEO Henri Seydoux (below) is amazing in many ways, but here's one you might not have known. He's the father of Lea Seydoux, the Bond girl in Spectre. The film is just so-so, but she's the best part of it, playing (appropriately) the daughter of a genius computer expert who is creating a global…


Added by Chris Anderson on March 22, 2016 at 5:00pm — 11 Comments

Sparkfun's AVC adds autonomous go-karts -- with helpless human passengers

It's sad that Sparkfun removed the aerial category from the AVC, but the silver lining is that this year they've added an totally insane new category: autonomous go-karts with humans aboard who can't steer.  I love the motto: "Trust your code? Prove it."

From the announcement…


Added by Chris Anderson on March 21, 2016 at 9:47pm — 5 Comments

Painting buildings with drones

From TechInsider:

Florida-based startup Apellix developed a prototype unmanned aerial system that can potentially paint homes or ships, apply chemicals, or pressure wash windows. It's called the "Worker Bee."

Company founder Robert…


Added by Chris Anderson on March 20, 2016 at 8:34am — 5 Comments

Inexpensive time-of-flight sensor for sense and avoid

We've been evaluating this on Pixhawk-based platforms, and it's a performing well. Best used with other sensors, such as cameras, but a lot better than just sonar. 

From IEEE…


Added by Chris Anderson on March 18, 2016 at 1:53pm — 10 Comments

New analysis of 2015 FAA commercial drone excemptions

The Centre for the Study of the Drone has released a new report on the state of the growing commercial drone industry.

From the summary:

This report…


Added by Chris Anderson on March 16, 2016 at 11:31am — 3 Comments

Pixhawk-compatible scanning LIDAR on Kickstarter.

This uses an updated version of the LIDAR-Lite sensor on a rotating mount. $245 is an impressive price -- backed!

From the Kickstarter campaign:

We wanted a scanning LiDAR for our projects and couldn’t find anything that was powerful…


Added by Chris Anderson on March 16, 2016 at 11:06am — 22 Comments

Design files for IRIS+ now open source

Good news for IRIS+ fans. We've released the CAD files as STLs, so you can 3D print any replacement parts you need for free, including improved versions of the legs that are 50% lighter and require less support when printing. 

Our friends at…


Added by Chris Anderson on March 15, 2016 at 1:30pm — 34 Comments

VTOL plane based on ETH research now coming to market

If you saw Rafaello D'Andrea's amazing TED talk from a few weeks ago, you will have been impressed by how his team solved the problem of controlling VTOL aircraft in the vertical position with just two props (VTOL aircraft are notoriously prone to wind disturbance when lending in vertical mode). Now that…


Added by Chris Anderson on March 15, 2016 at 10:30am — 11 Comments

New Solo update adds Burst Mode, improved FollowMe. Also: DroneKit Python 2.0!

3DR has just released an update to the Solo app on iOS and Android that adds a new GoPro Burst camera mode as well as improved FollowMe functionality (see below). This continues a monthly feature/performance update schedule that is adding a ton of new funtionality. Next month's software update will dramatically improve GPS performance and reduce lock time, along with adding the…


Added by Chris Anderson on March 14, 2016 at 1:00pm — 14 Comments

"A 2kg drone is likely to cause injury to a human passenger once every 187 million years of operation"

Very interesting new research from George Mason University on the risks to people of drone collision, based on wildlife strike data:

In December 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced a new…


Added by Chris Anderson on March 14, 2016 at 11:56am — 25 Comments

ParaZero announces safety parachute for Solo

From the ParaZero press release:

TEL AVIV, Israel – March, 2016 – ParaZero, a startup that has developed a safety solution for all aerial systems such as UAVs and drones, publicly unveiled its…


Added by Chris Anderson on March 14, 2016 at 10:43am — 5 Comments

Become a DIY Drones moderator!

One of the great things about this community is that it's very active but still keeps high standards of civility and a good signal-to-noise ratio. This doesn't happen by accident, but is rather due to a great cast of moderators who approve new members (keeping spammers out) and review all posts on the front page to ensure that they're high quality. 



Added by Chris Anderson on March 13, 2016 at 4:30pm — 4 Comments

HobbyKing's first RC transmitter designed specially for APM/Pixhawk

In case you've missed this, HobbyKing is now selling a RC transmitter designed for APM/Pixhawk, with all the flight modes mapped to knob settings with mode LED indicators. Just $58!



Added by Chris Anderson on March 11, 2016 at 1:30pm — 10 Comments

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