Chris Anderson's Blog – June 2012 Archive (24)

APM 2 cases now available, also come free with new APM 2s

Good news: the 3D Robotics store is now offering custom-molded cases for APM 2, in both top-pin and side-pin variety. They're $4.99 each. All new APM 2s now ship with these cases, included free!

They're smokey semi-transparent, so you can see the LEDs through…

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Added by Chris Anderson on June 29, 2012 at 1:30pm — 46 Comments

More mindblowing stuff from the U-Penn swarming quad team



Sure, it's all controlled by a Vicon system that nobody but a big university lab can afford, but look at the lights! Gorgeous robotic choreography from the U-Penn GRASP Lab team, shown at Cannes. 16 quads with mirrors and LED displays. It really takes off around 2:30.

 

(via…

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Added by Chris Anderson on June 26, 2012 at 3:21pm — 6 Comments

Coming soon: 100-drone mock dogfights

Excerpted from CNET

MONTEREY, Calif.--Imagine an aerial dogfight of epic proportions: Fifty aircraft on a side, each prowling the sky for advantage over dozens of adversaries.

If Timothy Chung has…

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Added by Chris Anderson on June 24, 2012 at 2:33pm — 3 Comments

A warning on travelling with drones in your luggage

The scary headline below should be a warning to all of us who travel with drones in our checked or carry-on luggage. Here's what I do, and it's worked well for me so far:

  1. I carry the drones in a Pelican case, which is checked luggage
  2. I enclose a note in the case explaining what they are, for the TSA to read. I use phrases like "robots for a…
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Added by Chris Anderson on June 24, 2012 at 2:25pm — 27 Comments

Digital Surface Model of a golf course, via UAV

From DroneMapper's Twitter feed. Don't ask me why a golf course surface looks like that in this format. 

Digital Surface Model - Golf Course in Switzerland. Imagery via SenseFly UAV. 12cm…

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Added by Chris Anderson on June 22, 2012 at 6:41am — 3 Comments

Autodesk uses Octocopter to find fossils with Louise Leakey

DIY Drones friend Gonzalo Martinez of Autodesk has been in Kenya with Louise Leakey and his Octocopters. Fantastic stuff! (The copters are gorgeous $12,000 Mikrokopter-powered Cinestars)

Added by Chris Anderson on June 21, 2012 at 1:51pm — 3 Comments

ROS Java interface for the AR.Drone

Pablo writes

I'm a student at UT Dallas, and we have a ROS driver for the AR.Drone. It is an early version, and it has almost the same functionality as the ardrone_brown package. The main difference and advantage is that it is written using…

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Added by Chris Anderson on June 19, 2012 at 8:28am — 1 Comment

Open SCAD model of an octocopter

Just uploaded here:

OpenSCAD file showing my OctoCopter. Parametric design so you can change it into a Tri/Quad/Hex/Y. Design based on the AGL Hobbies carbon fiber frame. I created it so that I could try different boom lengths and prop…

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Added by Chris Anderson on June 18, 2012 at 11:00pm — 2 Comments

Reminder: DIY Drones Multicopter Rodeo is today!

If you didn't have enough robot thrills, spills and chills at the Sparkfun Autonomous Vehicle Competition yesterday, or just want to fly your multcopter in a fun low-stress competition, join us today in for the DIY Drones "Multicopter Rodeo", nearly Boulder, CO. It's just like the Sparkfun competition, but for rotary wing UAVs, and open…
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Added by Chris Anderson on June 17, 2012 at 7:25am — 37 Comments

DIY Drones at 26,000 members!

As is customary and traditional, we celebrate every new 1,000 members here and share the traffic stats. This time it's 26,000!…

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Added by Chris Anderson on June 14, 2012 at 9:23pm — No Comments

"Don't worry, that's not an alien spacecraft, just a flying military robot. That is a totally normal sentence in 2012. I love the future."

Drivers in Washington DC freaked out by sight of an X-47b being towed on a flatbed truck; think it's a UFO. Washington Post story here, including the amusing Twitter response I quoted in the headline, which came once citizens were informed that…

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Added by Chris Anderson on June 14, 2012 at 9:33am — 6 Comments

AirBurr MAV Can Now Self-Right, Is Utterly Unstoppable

IEEE Spectrum writes:

In October of 2009, we wrote about the very first version of EPFL's AirBurr micro air vehicle, called HoverMouse. It was an innovative design: a roll cage protected the…

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Added by Chris Anderson on June 14, 2012 at 9:30am — 3 Comments

Dealing with GPS blocking/jamming

The sad truth is the GPS system is a fragile one, easily blocked and interfered with, as the tragic fatal crash of a drone in South Korea last month (shown above) showed. 

Now DARPA is sponsoring new research to help drones navigate…

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Added by Chris Anderson on June 13, 2012 at 9:50pm — 16 Comments

Interesting stats on DIY Drones user operating systems

Over the five years we've been running the site, Apple OSs have been consistently rising and Linux consistently falling. Today iOS of various flavors add up to nearly 6% of total traffic of 1.4m page views/month, which brings the Apple total (mobile +  Mac) to around 20%. Five years ago, Linux was around 8%; now it's 5%. FWIW, Chrome is the most popular browser,…

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Added by Chris Anderson on June 12, 2012 at 10:48pm — 23 Comments

Hacking a RC helicopter for WiFi router control

FromHackaday

Last Christmas, [bonafide] received a WiFi enabled remote control helicopter from his employer. The heli is an interesting bit of kit, able to be controlled with an Android or iDevice. Being the good…

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Added by Chris Anderson on June 12, 2012 at 9:18am — 2 Comments

DIY Drones Multicopter Rodeo now sponsored by Hobbyking!

Good news: HobbyKing is now the official commercial sponsor of the DIY Drones Multicopter Rodeo next Sunday in Boulder, CO after the Sparkfun AVC! They'll be providing prizes, including the cool…

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Added by Chris Anderson on June 8, 2012 at 2:06pm — 6 Comments

What to do with your retired copters: turn them into ceiling fans

Not necessarily practical (or quiet), but definitely unique. Found here

Added by Chris Anderson on June 8, 2012 at 12:50pm — 3 Comments

Google deploying planes over cities for 3D maps. No drones yet

Just small manned planes for now. Key quote:

"Asked if Google had any plans to use unmanned aerial drones to gather photos for its 3D cityscapes, McClendon said it was an interesting question, but noted that drones were still being evaluated…

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Added by Chris Anderson on June 6, 2012 at 6:23pm — 6 Comments

Quadcopter learn to carry payloads without swinging

From IEEE Spectrum:

One of the ways in which robots are just starting to get really useful is with hauling aerial cargo. Last year, the optionally-manned KMAX made its …

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Added by Chris Anderson on June 6, 2012 at 11:11am — 9 Comments

Reminder: DIY Drones Multicopter Rodeo next Sunday after the Sparkfun AVC

For those multicopter fans who are going to be at the Sparkfun Autonomous Vehicle Competition on June 16th (only rovers and planes allowed to compete), a reminder that the DIY Drones crew will be holding a "Multicopter Rodeo" the next day, open to all. It's just like the Sparkfun competition, but for rotary wing UAVs.
We're going to be meeting at 10:00…
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Added by Chris Anderson on June 6, 2012 at 10:13am — 7 Comments

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