Chris Anderson's Blog – April 2011 Archive (17)

APM Mission Planner now also serves as ArduCopter 2 Configurator

We're getting ready to launch the beta ArduCopter 2.0 (formerly known as ArduCopterMega, or ACM), and much has changed. First, it's our first real quadcopter UAV code, designed from the ground up for fully scripted autonomous missions as Jason's runs at Sparkfun demonstrated. It's also totally built…


Added by Chris Anderson on April 30, 2011 at 8:00pm — 30 Comments

Microsoft ICE: a free PTGui killer?

I've been using the PTGui software ($121) for years to stitch together aerial shots into composite mosaics, but noticed in Krzysztof Bosak's post that Microsoft Research had something called ICE that could be an alternative. I…


Added by Chris Anderson on April 30, 2011 at 4:11pm — 17 Comments

Charming story of building an aircraft launcher

After failing in my autonomous rise-off-ground launches at Sparkfun and seeing Doug do so well with his catapult, I've been thinking about building my own launcher. So was this kid. Watch his research, experiments and ultimate lessons. A really nicely done… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on April 30, 2011 at 10:25am — 2 Comments

New product in the DIY Drones store: APM telemetry kit!

Check it out: an all-in-one telemetry kit for ArduPilotMega, all set up and ready to go! No more fussing around with Xbee configuration. $165 for the total, which includes the custom configuration.


In this kit you will find…

Added by Chris Anderson on April 21, 2011 at 5:00pm — 56 Comments

Sparkfun AVC course preview -- scary!

It's just over a week away from Sparkfun's Autonomous Vehicle Competition, and they've just posted a course preview. It's terrifying! Randomly-placed barrels! Hoops! Time bonuses for doing impossible things!


The DIY Drones teams are going to try an unprecedented hat-trick this year: Place in all three categories--planes, multirotors and ground rovers--using the same autopilot hardware and…


Added by Chris Anderson on April 14, 2011 at 2:30pm — 7 Comments

Demo showing how much centripetal error an IMU has without GPS or magnetometer

In this demo, Pat Hickey from Invensense does a demo on a turntable showing how much error you can expect from an IMU (in this case the MPU 3000 using the onboard Kalman filter) in a turn if you don't have a GPS or magnetometer to correct it. The answer is less than 10 degrees at .2G (12 inch turntable turning at 33rpm), which is a reasonable guess of what a plane would experience in a prolonged turn. 
This is relevant because the forthcoming Invensense…

Added by Chris Anderson on April 10, 2011 at 3:00pm — 17 Comments

Kinect-steered AR.Drone

Nice hack! From the video description: "Parrot AR Drone controlled with body movements using the Kinect. Developed by Tom Zickel (with the support of the Zickel family). Demonstrated at Kinnernet 2011"


(via SUAS…


Added by Chris Anderson on April 8, 2011 at 7:44pm — 4 Comments

[UPDATED] New APM 2.0 beta code (2.012) released

[UPDATE: I posted the wrong version of the code before. If you downloaded it, please download it again and replace it with the new code. Servo output is fixed]


I've posted a new version of the APM 2.0 beta (2.012), which…


Added by Chris Anderson on April 8, 2011 at 6:30am — 43 Comments

Tripcopter down, fisherman to the rescue

This story has a happy ending, and it's not just more evidence of how amazing the waterproof GoPro camera is.


(via Multirotor…


Added by Chris Anderson on April 7, 2011 at 3:33pm — 5 Comments

Official Open Hardware logo selected

After a great crowdsourcing and voting process, the official Open Hardware logo has been selected and is at right. You can read about it here. Open Hardware (aka Open Source Hardware) is a fast-growing movement, of which DIY Drones is a big part, and the process of defining it and… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on April 7, 2011 at 12:01pm — 7 Comments

Arduino use is exploding, thanks to its huge community

One of the best decisions we made was basing our autopilot system on Arduino (credit goes to Jordi for spotting its potential so early and selling me on it). The engineers all sniffed at it, complaining that it was just an 8-bit processor running at 16Mhz and could never compete with 32-bit ARM processors running at 70Mhz and faster. But what Jordi spotted was something more:…


Added by Chris Anderson on April 5, 2011 at 12:30pm — 17 Comments

3D printed gyro-stabilized pan-tilt gimbal for the GoPro

Fantastic project, which was 3D printed at Shapeways. Here's their blog post describing the whole thing. Check out the lovely snap fit with a twist-knob closure design.



Added by Chris Anderson on April 4, 2011 at 11:50pm — 15 Comments

Raven GCS manual online

Want to know how the pros do it? Check out the complete manual for the Raven B Ground Station and Sim.

Added by Chris Anderson on April 4, 2011 at 11:17pm — 17 Comments

DIY Drones passes 15,000 members!

As is customary and traditional, we mark the addition of each 1,000 members here at DIY Drones. Today we passed 15,000 members. Growth continues at 100% annually, and we now do about 1 million page views per month.  Thanks to all who made this possible--you know who you… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on April 3, 2011 at 5:42pm — 5 Comments

Restarting the DIY Drones podcast: Volunteers needed

Many of you have asked for a return of the DIY Drones podcast, which Tim Trueman and I took to nearly 30 episodes before we got way too busy with our day jobs last year. (You can listen to all the episodes here).


Tim's keen to restart it, but I'm too busy to be his…


Added by Chris Anderson on April 1, 2011 at 3:35pm — 8 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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