Chris Anderson's Blog – June 2011 Archive (29)

ArduCopter makes an appearance in PBS Newshour report on Maker Movement





A great report on the Maker Movement from the PBS Newshour, with lots of shots of Maker Faire. ArduCopter makes a flying appearance around… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on June 30, 2011 at 11:03am — No Comments

New: Configuration file repository for ArduCopter and APM

One of the cool features of the Mission Planner is that you can load and save configuration files. So you can not only have different files for different aircraft, but also share them with others.

 

This is particularly handy for common airframes. Once someone…

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Added by Chris Anderson on June 26, 2011 at 7:27pm — 36 Comments

Obama announces big robotics program

From IEEE Spectrum:

In a visit today to Carnegie Mellon…

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Added by Chris Anderson on June 24, 2011 at 5:20pm — 8 Comments

First impressions on the Bixler: Best Easystar clone ever!

I just got the new Hobbyking Bixler, their newest EasyStar clone, and I'm very impressed. I haven't flown it yet, but based on the design I think it's the best Easystar clone out there yet. (And I've tested them ALL!)



It's available as a kit, a RTF with a 4 channel radio, and an…

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Added by Chris Anderson on June 23, 2011 at 10:00pm — 20 Comments

Long article in Smithsonian magazine about civilian UAVs

"Drones are Ready for Takeoff" from the June issue of Smithsonian. Many of the usual suspects and a good bit of journalistic naivete, but worth reading. It focuses on Aerovel Corp, a small company in…

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Added by Chris Anderson on June 23, 2011 at 3:35pm — 5 Comments

Look at the size of this quad!

It's the latest Electric Tethered Observation Platform from Israel Aerospace Industries, photographed at the Paris Air Show, according to km2804.

 

Basically a long…

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Added by Chris Anderson on June 21, 2011 at 8:39pm — 13 Comments

Traditional helicopters now supported by ArduCopter2, too!

Check out the firmware loading screen from the latest Mission Planner (1.013). Have you ever seen anything more beautiful??

 

Yes, APM is the first autopilot in history to support every kind of flying machine out there! (We already covered lighter-than-air with Blimpduino). Thanks to the great work of team leader…

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Added by Chris Anderson on June 20, 2011 at 6:30pm — 25 Comments

Don't feel bad -- small miltary UAVs crash all the time, too

From a piece in today's New York Times on the push for more and better military microdrones:

There are some 4,800 Ravens in operation in the Army, although plenty get lost. One American service member in Germany recalled how five soldiers…

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Added by Chris Anderson on June 20, 2011 at 12:09pm — 27 Comments

Final results of the AUVSI student UAS competition

 

The results are in, and we have some great reports from the AUVSI student competition. A Paparazzi-powered UAV came in first, and APM made its best showing ever, with APM-powered UAVs in  7th, 15th and 16th place.

 

Dan Strider…

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Added by Chris Anderson on June 19, 2011 at 2:30pm — 24 Comments

AR.Drone used to inspect damaged Christchurch cathedral

From News 3 in New Zealand, news that engineers are using a Parrot AR.Drone to inspect the inside of the Christchurch cathedral damaged in the earthquake:

It's a…

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Added by Chris Anderson on June 18, 2011 at 10:07am — 4 Comments

Cool amateur UAV effort to film the last Shuttle launch from high altitude

An amateur/educational group called Quest For Stars plans to lift a glider to the edge of space with a balloon to film the last Space Shuttle launch. In future flights, the glider will be then released and navigate home, broadcasting FPV video the whole way. It appears that they're using standard Eagletree and…

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Added by Chris Anderson on June 17, 2011 at 4:00pm — 5 Comments

APM Mission Planner now has voice and datalogging!

Another day, another spectacular upgrade of the APM Mission Planner by Michael Oborne. Today's cool new features in v1.09 includes datalogging, so you can record your missions from the ground and replay them for analysis afterwards. No need to download logs from the board itself; just click one…

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Added by Chris Anderson on June 17, 2011 at 9:34am — 38 Comments

Telemetry kit back in stock

The DIY Drones telemetry kit, which proved more popular than we were ready for and quickly went out of stock when we released it back in April, is now back in stock. It now offered at…

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Added by Chris Anderson on June 16, 2011 at 1:30pm — 29 Comments

AUVSI Student UAS competitition going on now--any reports?

It's going on now through the weekend in Lexington Park, Maryland. The website is pretty uninformative, with no list of teams entering. Anybody know more or is there and can share some… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on June 15, 2011 at 1:07pm — 9 Comments

Q: What's the connection between UAV swarms and Starcraft?



A: They're both examples of "multi-agent AI scripting". MIT postdoc Frans Oliehoek has been developing some powerful methods for swarms of autonomous objects (software or hardware, like UAVs) to communicate with each other and distribute tasks by following simple policies. One of the simulations his colleagues have tested this on is the videogame Starcraft,  as shown in the demo above.

 …

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Added by Chris Anderson on June 14, 2011 at 12:59pm — 2 Comments

Winner of Sparkfun AVC now selling homebrew autopilot

Antonio Liska, who has won the Sparkfun AVC for two years with a homebuilt autopilot, is now selling a commercial version of that hardware.  It's called the "Goose" and it's just airplane-only at the moment and closed source, but it has impressive features:…

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Added by Chris Anderson on June 13, 2011 at 9:15pm — 14 Comments

New Mission Planner GCS feature: integrated OSD video!

If you update to the latest Mission Planner (1.05) you'll see a cool new feature Michael Oborne has just added: integrated OSD video! Just select your video input device from your aircraft's camera feed from the Configuration screen (Planner tab) and it will replace the background of the artificial horizon on the GCS, turning it into a heads-up display instead, as shown in the…

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Added by Chris Anderson on June 11, 2011 at 8:00pm — 133 Comments

ArduCopter dev team test report and status

Jason, Gigio and I just got back from a day of test flying four ArduCopters, which is the most we've ever had out at one time. These were of different designs, with different props, motors, ESCs, batteries, frames etc. The point was to try to see why some people have great-performing ArduCopters and others have issues. We assumed it was due to hardware differences, but we…

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Added by Chris Anderson on June 11, 2011 at 5:00pm — 20 Comments

How to add a pan-tilt camera mount to ArduCopter

Gigio (udrones) has added a great tutorial to the manual on how to add a pan-tilt camera mount to ArduCopter using Hobbyking parts. Total cost: about $57. Perfect for a GoPro camera.

 

AC2 defaults to…

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Added by Chris Anderson on June 10, 2011 at 5:30pm — 20 Comments

Amateur UAV pioneer Maynard Hill passes away

Gary Mortimer passes on sad news:

The Washington Post reports the death of Maynard Hill an inspiration to so many in the sUAS world. Our condolences to his family

Maynard Hill, a designer of model airplanes who secured a spot in aviation…

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Added by Chris Anderson on June 9, 2011 at 5:25pm — 10 Comments

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