Chris Anderson's Blog – August 2007 Archive (11)

How to mod a Multiplex EasyStar

I was reminded by the Pict'Earth guys last weekend that one of the best all-purpose planes for carrying cameras, GPS recorders and any other sort of equipment you want to test is the Multiplex EasyStar, a virtually unbreakable powered glider. Because it's made of…


Added by Chris Anderson on August 31, 2007 at 6:30pm — 62 Comments

UAV fly-in report

We had our amateur UAV fly-in (the world's first?) on Saturday at the Alameda Naval Air Station. Along with my own 4 UAV's, Adam Williams brought his fully-autonomous-in-training heli, the Pict'Earth team was there with their Nokia N80-carrying Easystars, RCAPA's Patrick Egen brought a nifty camera-carrying slowstik, and we had a handful of other observers, along with the PBS film crew.

Since this was done mostly for the cameras (which can't… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on August 28, 2007 at 7:40am — 2 Comments

Can open source be giving comfort to the enemy?

2005543901635491116_rs I'm posting this because I feel honestly conflicted about something that's come up. As readers of this blog know, one of my side projects is making Unmanned Aerial Vehicles ("drones") and the technology that

goes into them. Everything I do is open source, and I share much of it here. There are also loads of other…


Added by Chris Anderson on August 24, 2007 at 10:17am — 8 Comments

50,000 page views!

In the three months since I created this site, out traffic has steadily grown as word got out. Now we've just hit our first milestone: 50,000 page views. We have 80 participants, who have done everything from writing a blog post or uploading a video, to just submitting a comment.

How big is the natural audience for a site like this? Well, by my estimate the biggest amateur UAV community, the RCGroups UAV forum,… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on August 17, 2007 at 7:47am — No Comments

Testing heading-hold gyros

After building the gyro-stabilized camera mount and seeing the problem of gyro drift, I bought two drift-cancelling heading-hold gyros, which arrived today. I tested them both and am pleased to report that the cheaper one won!…


Added by Chris Anderson on August 16, 2007 at 12:01am — 2 Comments

How to make a sub-$100 gyro-stabilized camera


[UPDATE: I've found an even better way that costs $25, is simpler and works perfectly. It's here]

Once again I started a weekend with a crazy idea and once again I had it working by Sunday evening. (Needless to say I'm not going to win any parenting…


Added by Chris Anderson on August 15, 2007 at 8:00pm — 15 Comments

Details on how to build the Lego autopilot

I finally got around to doing a proper diagram of the Lego autopilot construction. I tried Google Sketchup using the public domain Mindstorms NXT objects, but before I could get very far Lego itself released all the Mindstorms NXT parts for its own much-improved Digital… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on August 14, 2007 at 10:54am — No Comments

UAV mission over the Googleplex

This weekend I was at the Google campus in Mountain View for the SciFoo scientific conference. My session was on using micro UAVs for mapping and scientific sensing, and I thought it would be fun to give a little demonstration. What better than a UAV mission over the Googleplex?

This was cool for a number of reasons. First, you may have noticed that the Google campus "satellite" view is much higher resolution than almost any other imagery on Google maps. (The way you can tell is to…


Added by Chris Anderson on August 13, 2007 at 11:04pm — No Comments

"The FAA can jump on this train or they can run along behind it, but it is going to leave without them."

From the Danger Room blog:

In the Spring of 2006, the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department began flying small spy drones to track suspects. Weeks later, the drone was grounded by the Federal Aviation Administration. Top cops are… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on August 10, 2007 at 2:17pm — No Comments

Want to be on a TV show about amateur UAVs?

This October Wired's going to be

starting a prime-time show on PBS called Wired Science, which will have

a national audience of about 6 million people per night. One of the

episodes is going to be on non-military UAVs, with a focus on the

parallel evolutions of the pros and the amateurs.

We want to film a number of amateurs (including me) flying their UAVs

in the San Francisco Bay Area sometime over the next two weeks. If

you're in the area and would… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on August 10, 2007 at 1:24pm — No Comments

New site: OpenUAV

I just got pointed to a new open-source UAV site/community called Open UAV. It sells a low-cost ($365) autopilot board and has a library of academic papers on UAV research. If you register, you can also download open source firmware, circuit board diagrams etc.

It's run by Astroplanes, a comapany in New Zealand. Does anybody know anything about them or that autopilot? Is it related to… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on August 9, 2007 at 9:18pm — 1 Comment

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