Chris Anderson's Blog – July 2012 Archive (41)

New, lower prices for RTF ArduCopters and ArduPlanes at uDrones (APM2.5, 3DR uBlox GPS come standard!)

Now that uDrones is a 3DR subsidiary and we've moved half of the electronics production there, uDrones is able to lower prices and provide the latest 3DR electronics. That means that the ready-to-fly ArduCopter Quad now comes…

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Added by Chris Anderson on July 31, 2012 at 3:00pm — No Comments

40 years ago, the CIA created a dragonfly drone!

It flew about as well as you'd expect (60-second flight time, no tolerance for wind) but what a cool bit of mechanical design! No idea how that "laser beam" control works. From …

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Added by Chris Anderson on July 30, 2012 at 3:05pm — 9 Comments

New drone model at HobbyKing

Looks cool and costs just $72. From the Hobby King product listing:

The Target Drone is a great little FPV platform that has been specifically designed for the job…

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Added by Chris Anderson on July 28, 2012 at 8:00pm — 9 Comments

Invensense releases licence to allow use of the MPU-6000 DMP processor

Good news: Invensense has finally released a licence that allows open source projects such as ArduCopter/Plane to use the built-in sensor fusion processor in the MPU-6000 gyro/accel chip used in APM 2.x!

This processor, called the Digital Motion Processor (DMP), has been in the APM 2.x sensors from the…

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Added by Chris Anderson on July 26, 2012 at 11:00pm — 26 Comments

Visit to new 3D Robotics Tijuana plant

I've given a quick tour of the big 3D Robotics factory and R&D center in San Diego before (here), but as some of you may know, we've recently opened a second manufacturing facility 30 minutes across the border, in…

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Added by Chris Anderson on July 26, 2012 at 6:00pm — 9 Comments

Sparkfun Autonomous Vehicle Competition recap video

Sparkfun has released its recap video of this year's great Autonomous Vehicle Competition. It was a great weekend for us, and a huge amount of fun, as you'll see. APM-powered vehicles won the air and ground category (the latter using custom-code), and the next day's Multicopter Competition, too. Really…

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Added by Chris Anderson on July 23, 2012 at 10:13am — 9 Comments

Review of new EasyStar II for UAV use

We were huge fans of the original EasyStar back in the day: it was tough, flew well and had loads of room for electronics. But it was slow to evolve (terrible brushed motor, no ailerons, rudder too small) and our favorite beginners platform shifted to the …

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Added by Chris Anderson on July 21, 2012 at 1:00pm — 22 Comments

Drone Journalism Lab coming together

From Matt Waite's Twitter feed:

The now mostly put together Drone Journalism Lab at @ ...…

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Added by Chris Anderson on July 18, 2012 at 1:39pm — 1 Comment

Swarming quads from Chiba University, and a cheaper new motion capture system?

From Diginfo.tv. Those are the gnarliest motion capture dot-holders I've ever seen. Why out on sticks? A commentor says they're using a motion capture system that's just a fraction of the cost of a Vicon. Anybody know anything about that? (Maybe someone who can read Japanese and can navigate the…

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Added by Chris Anderson on July 17, 2012 at 9:25pm — 11 Comments

Preview of ArduCopter 2.6.1

We're within a day or two of releasing ArduCopter 2.6.1 to the public in the Mission Planner. It's the best performing code we've flown and the waypoint accuracy is really impressive. You can check out Marco Robustini's video above to see an long-distance waypoint flight, some tight loiter at 5:30 (holding in a 1m box!) and a fun demo of…

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Added by Chris Anderson on July 17, 2012 at 3:00pm — 34 Comments

New 3DR t-shirts!



Front

Back:…

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Added by Chris Anderson on July 17, 2012 at 12:00pm — 2 Comments

Detroit from the air, from its best to its worst

Imagery from a multiwii quadcopter. Described by Forbes:

Someone going by the name Tretch5000 has posted a truly haunting FPV (First Person Video) portrait of Detroit that mixes the lush…

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Added by Chris Anderson on July 17, 2012 at 11:46am — 5 Comments

$100 smartphone controlled drone coming?

A new company called Rotary Robotics is planning a $100 drone, controlled by a smartphone, for aerial photography. They're planning to launch something in the $250-$300 range, with the price falling later. They call  it "Drones for Peace"…

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Added by Chris Anderson on July 17, 2012 at 11:43am — 3 Comments

Ridiculous bug-bot propulsion method of the day

 From IEEE Spectrum:

The reason to go with little tiny rockets for microrobots (as opposed to a more conventional propulsion system…

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Added by Chris Anderson on July 16, 2012 at 8:29pm — 3 Comments

This is why we didn't have DIY Drones in the 1970s. (Mechanical gyro teardown)

Just look at the complexity (and size/weight) of this mechanical gyro! Now that functionality (times nine--three gyros, three accelerometers, three magnetometers) is performed by a $15 chip smaller than your fingernail. 

Added by Chris Anderson on July 16, 2012 at 5:37pm — 13 Comments

Using ArduPilot for rocket telemetry

From Hackaday:

When we posted our call for rocketry hacks and builds, we expected to see a few altitude sensors and maybe a GPS module or two. Apparently, we forgot similar hardware is very…

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Added by Chris Anderson on July 16, 2012 at 5:29pm — No Comments

Turning a PS2 controller into a RC transmitter

From Hackaday:

After [Pyrofer] built a quadcopter, he purchased a cheap 6-channel transmitter made in China. Unfortunately, that transmitter was terrible so he took an old PS2…

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Added by Chris Anderson on July 16, 2012 at 5:27pm — 8 Comments

Me and "Kill Decision" author Daniel Suarez on CNET

Suarez's book, Kill Decision (out next week!), is about autonomous swarms of bio-inspired drones and is terrific. If you read and loved his first book, …

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Added by Chris Anderson on July 14, 2012 at 8:00pm — 6 Comments

Trash-collecting sub-drone design

Nice work on the concept here, from a French design student. 

Early sketches:…

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Added by Chris Anderson on July 13, 2012 at 3:50pm — 18 Comments

Survey of robotics startups shows US leading

Two-thirds of new robotics startups are in the United States, according to research by the Robot Report

These start-ups appear to be clustering in the Bay Area (Silicon Valley)…

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Added by Chris Anderson on July 12, 2012 at 4:30pm — 6 Comments

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