Chris Anderson's Blog – May 2014 Archive (34)

Students create APM-powered swarming drones with human-spotting cameras

From Engineering and Technology Magazine, a short piece on a cool project using APM 2.6 and a modified Skywalker X8:

A group of Loughborough University students have devised a ‘swarm’ system using smart unmanned aerial…


Added by Chris Anderson on May 30, 2014 at 9:41pm — 2 Comments

Planet Money: "Who Owns the Air?" (is <83 feet really unregulated?)

Planet Money, the fantastic NPR radio show/podcast, did a must-listen show called "Who Owns the Air" on the debate over who has jurisdiction over drones, and at what altitude. It sounds like the "floor" of the FAA jurisdiction is 83 feet, and perhaps even 500 feet.…


Added by Chris Anderson on May 30, 2014 at 9:01pm — 2 Comments

New APM-powered Phantom clone at HobbyKing

At $299, it seems like a great deal. I want one! (Note the 3DR credit, only slightly misspelled, at the bottom of the listing). From HobbyKing:

Get in the action with the Quanum Nova,…


Added by Chris Anderson on May 28, 2014 at 6:00pm — 31 Comments

Autodesk 3DRV at 3DR

Our worlds (and brands) collide! Stay tuned for news of a cool collaboration.  As the APM/Pixhawk platform extends "from the iron to the cloud", you'll see a lot more third-party software integration in everything from mapping to filming. 

Added by Chris Anderson on May 28, 2014 at 2:00pm — 2 Comments

Drone mission planning in videogames (Arma 3)

I was watching one of my sons play the Arma 3 videogame and was struck by how similar the simulated drone mission planning interface is to what we do with real drones in Mission Planner/APM Planner.  In the game, you can program the drones to conduct autonomous missions, with waypoints and functions such as Loiter at each…


Added by Chris Anderson on May 27, 2014 at 1:00pm — 3 Comments

iMaterialize announces winners of its 3D printing drone challenge

3D printing company iMaterialize announces the winners of its 3D-printed drone contest:

We’re thrilled to unveil the 3D printed models of the three winners: Biohazard Tracker by Pascal Breton, APHID by Brian…


Added by Chris Anderson on May 26, 2014 at 2:20pm — 4 Comments

Ideo's "Postcard from the Future" of helpful drones

I was fortunate enough to participate in's session in SF a few months ago on drones from public health. The above video was something that they made beforehand, to get the ideas flowing. FastCompanyreports:

Some of the ideas they suggest in this video, like…


Added by Chris Anderson on May 24, 2014 at 4:48pm — 1 Comment

Autonomous boats disguised as crocodiles study hippo poop

From Gizmag:

Although hippos may look slow and docile, they're actually very aggressive, killing more people every year than any other large African animal. So, it would follow that you wouldn't want to swim anywhere near them. That's why when…


Added by Chris Anderson on May 24, 2014 at 2:34pm — 1 Comment

Drone dance performance

Lovely. Via The Verge:

[This is] from Japanese dance troupe Eleven Play, which turned three small drones into dancers during a recent performance in Tokyo. The…


Added by Chris Anderson on May 22, 2014 at 9:44pm — 1 Comment

Walking a dog with a drone

Very creative. For once, the use of the word "drone" is justified by a real autonomous mission! (This is with a Parrot AR.Drone with a GPS module) 

Added by Chris Anderson on May 22, 2014 at 3:26pm — 10 Comments

"eBumper" sense-and-avoid add-on for drones

The "eBumper incorporates acoustic and vision sensors as inspired by insects to enable safe flight operations". When it senses obstacles it takes over control of the vehicle and moves away to a safe distance. It will be available first for the DJI Phantom and then for other vehicles. No pricing yet…


Added by Chris Anderson on May 21, 2014 at 5:00pm — 34 Comments

Last day to register for Sparkfun's Autonomous Vehicle Competition

Today's the last day to enter a vehicle (drone or autonomous rover) in Sparkfun's AVC, which will be held June 21st in Boulder, Colorado. And if you're coming, don't miss DroneCon (the DIY Drones developer conference), which…


Added by Chris Anderson on May 21, 2014 at 4:40pm — 8 Comments

Using a 3D printing pen to make a quadcopter

Via sUASNews, a very cool demo of using a 3D printing pen to rapid prototype (draw!) a quadcopter:…


Added by Chris Anderson on May 20, 2014 at 12:50pm — 4 Comments

Amazon Prime Air is hiring!

Forbes reports on the flood of new job listings for Amazon's Prime Air team, which is a real thing:

There are interesting details to glean from the …


Added by Chris Anderson on May 19, 2014 at 9:10pm — 18 Comments

iQuad, APM-powered tilt-rotor, at Maker Faire

Great to see the latest progress on Ilya's supercool iQuad tilt-rotor at Maker Faire. Carbon fiber wings are looking good!

Here's an video of an earlier version in flight:…


Added by Chris Anderson on May 18, 2014 at 11:22pm — 6 Comments

A Drone's Day at Maker Faire

We had a blast at Maker Faire, which was the best one yet. This video captures the spirit of it perfectly, from the Game of Drones battles to the fire-breathing sculptures. Many thanks to the Maker Faire team for letting us do this!

Added by Chris Anderson on May 18, 2014 at 10:36pm — 39 Comments

Meet the 3DR team and other DIY Drones members at Maker Faire this weekend!

If you're going to be in the San Francisco Bay Area this weekend, don't miss Maker Faire on Saturday and Sunday. In the Expo Hall, circled above, you'll find the 3D Robotics booth, where you can meet some of the team, along with the…


Added by Chris Anderson on May 17, 2014 at 7:56am — No Comments

FAA considering accelerated approval for low-risk commerical use of drones

This sounds like good news, but we'll have to see the details to know for sure. From Bloomberg:

U.S. aviation regulators said they are considering a streamlined approval process for flights of small unmanned drones for…


Added by Chris Anderson on May 16, 2014 at 11:07pm — 21 Comments

Easy Drone: New APM-based Kickstarter drone project

Easy Drone is a cool new Kickstarter project with two interesting innovations: a "FlyBot" module that contains all the electronics (APM and FPV gear) and can be moved to other frames, and a simple and robust frame design:

Here's more from…


Added by Chris Anderson on May 13, 2014 at 10:57am — 11 Comments

More details on Parrot's Bebop Drone


From The Verge:

Instead of using a motorized gimbal to move the camera — which would add additional weight — the Bebop Drone uses an ingenius combination of software and hardware to let a 180-degree fisheye lens do the trick. Using a dedicated image processor and loads of…


Added by Chris Anderson on May 11, 2014 at 4:00pm — 17 Comments

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