Chris Anderson's Blog – May 2016 Archive (20)

Naval research group launches 30 Pixhawk-powered drones

Another great swarming demo from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. Not a new record of planes in the sky (which is 50), but an impressive launch rate of nine drones in nine seconds. All Pixhawk-powered Skywalker X8s.…


Added by Chris Anderson on May 31, 2016 at 5:15pm — 4 Comments

PXFmini (Dronecode on RaspberryPi Zero) on Hackaday

I've been using my RasperryPi's more and more with Dronecode software, including with the fantastic Navio2 autopilot shield and the slightly more basic Erle 2. I've also got Erle's new…


Added by Chris Anderson on May 29, 2016 at 10:59pm — 13 Comments

Pix4DCapture now supports 3DR Solo

Great news for Solo owners: the impressive Pix4DCapture app for iOS and Android is now available for the 3DR Solo. 


Added by Chris Anderson on May 26, 2016 at 3:53pm — 8 Comments

DIY Drones at 78,000 members

It's customary and traditional that we celebrate the addition of every 1,000 new members here and share the traffic stats. This time it's a 78,000!

Despite the site being on-and-off down for nearly a week this month as you can see on the right side of the traffic graph above  (the fault of Ning, our hosting provider -- you can see the sorry story of their tech…


Added by Chris Anderson on May 23, 2016 at 12:00am — 2 Comments

Risk based autonomous planning in PX4 Sim

This is an example of risk based planning for a flight across a city in the PX4 SITL. The drone avoids flying too close to buildings or through confined spaces where it might loose GPS reception. PX4's Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson is working on bringing this to outdoor flights this summer.

Added by Chris Anderson on May 23, 2016 at 12:00am — 2 Comments

Teaching rovers to powerslide with ROS

Very interesting research from Georgia Tech, using a RC truck running ROS and a Nvidia graphics board. From IEEE Spectrum:

Most autonomous vehicle control software is deliberately designed for…


Added by Chris Anderson on May 19, 2016 at 10:00am — 10 Comments

Bees bounce into things rather than navigate around them. How robobees could do the same

How Harvard's Robobee nanodrone project is using the learning from real bees to improve the technology. Flexible wings that can handle collisions don't require as advanced sense-and-avoid skills. 

Added by Chris Anderson on May 14, 2016 at 3:00pm — 8 Comments

Great survey of open source UAV projects from Beijing University of Aeronautics

Dronecode and the idea of open source UAV development is really taking off in China. Here's an example (Google translated from the original…


Added by Chris Anderson on May 13, 2016 at 4:47pm — 4 Comments

Stress testing drones in a wind vortex machine

From Motherboard:

As drones are becoming more commonplace in cities, so are drone accidents. People are crashing their brand new toys and flying them places they shouldn’t be like crazy. Part of this is thanks to the complex wind environments in built-up areas, which can make drones go out of control. In the latest episode of…


Added by Chris Anderson on May 11, 2016 at 10:09pm — 7 Comments

Boeing/Insitu releases ground system for ArduCopter, 3DR Solo and IRIS+

Boeing's Insitu division has released a ground control system that supports Solo, Iris+ and other ArduCopter based drones. …


Added by Chris Anderson on May 11, 2016 at 9:05pm — 11 Comments

Drones will soon become widespread in agriculture

Good piece in Hackaday on how drones can revolutionize agriculture. Here's the start, but read here for the rest, including a deeper discussion on NDVI techniques.

Whether you call them UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), UAS (Unmanned Aerial System), Drones, or something less polite – people are more familiar than ever…


Added by Chris Anderson on May 10, 2016 at 11:00pm — 9 Comments

Reach RTK GPS can now embed ground control points in imagery

From the blog of the Pixahwk-compatible high-accuracy Reach RTK GPS 

Reach was built with precision mapping applications it mind. One of the big challenges in UAV mapping is eliminating Ground Control Points which are time consuming and costly to place. Reach RTK can help achieve that by synchronizing with the camera shutter on sub…


Added by Chris Anderson on May 6, 2016 at 7:36am — 11 Comments

$40,000 prize for algorithm to do change detection on aerial imagery

This is a really important problem to solve; hope someone does! From Popular Mechanics:

An engineering firm wants to make sense of the abundance of aerial…


Added by Chris Anderson on May 5, 2016 at 6:01pm — 9 Comments

New Solo chute system released at AUVSI

New parachute for Solo released from Parazero. From Ars Technica:

To ensure that…


Added by Chris Anderson on May 4, 2016 at 2:32pm — 6 Comments

Cool Pixhawk-compatible long-distance directional radio

Pharos matches a dynamic directional (beam shaping) radio on the air with another on the ground, with the two tracking each other for multi-mile range for video and telemetry. Coming to Kickstarter in 2-3 weeks. 

The Pharos is a newly-developed smart antenna. Unlike conventional…


Added by Chris Anderson on May 4, 2016 at 11:08am — 60 Comments

HK releases Quanum FollowMe drone

The APM-based Quanum line from HobbyKing now has a cool new addition: a FollowMe copter with GPS armband and watch controller. Comes with 4K camera for $450, which is an…


Added by Chris Anderson on May 4, 2016 at 9:23am — 20 Comments

uAvionix (ADS-B for Pixhawk) raises VC from Andy Rubin of Google/Android fame

Congrats to Palo Alto-based uAvionix, who raised $5m in Series A funding from Andy Rubin's Playground Global VC fund for its Pixhawk-compatible ADS-B…


Added by Chris Anderson on May 2, 2016 at 9:30am — 18 Comments

Analysis of UK "drone vs plane" incidents and the media hysteria over them

Hackaday has a good piece that analyzes some of the UK's "drone close to aircraft" incidents and finds them wanting, to say nothing of the media coverage of them. Excerpt: 

Analyzing Incident Reports

So, that out of the way, on to the…


Added by Chris Anderson on May 2, 2016 at 7:40am — 1 Comment

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