(above: crashes and near crashes at the competition)
From the press reports: TOOWOOMBA man Simeon O'Neill and his best mate used their patched-up 30-year-old model plane to beat teams of university aerospace engineers at the UAV Challenge in Kingaroy. Mr O'Neill and his high school buddy Aaron Donaldson, from Geelong, won the main event, the Search and Rescue open category,…Continue
I mentioned in a previous post that we plan to make ArduPilot compatible with both 1Hz and 5Hz GPS modules. The problem is that the 1Hz EM406 that we're currently using is a 5v device and all the 5Hz devices we're looking at are 3.3v. So to be compatible with both, we'll have to put a power regulator on the board (right now it just uses the RC receiver as its power supply), and that will delay us another month for board fabrication and testing.
This has nothing to do with UAVs, but it's cool all the same. SpaceX, the Elon Musk company that aims to be the first private effort to make it to orbit, is scheduled to launch their fourth attempt this afternoon, sometime after 4:00 PST. All details and live webcast as soon as they start the countdown… Continue
Nothing every works exactly the way you'd hoped. We're testing the new ArduPilot boards and it's looks like we'll need to tweak a few more things. One stems from our decision to run the CPU at its top speed, 20Mhz. That's the best way to get maximum performance (it gives us 20 MIPS), but it introduces some incompatibility with the standard Arduino bootloader and libraries, which for legacy reasons run at 16Mhz or… Continue
So cool: the final production ArduPilot boards are in--they're really tiny! We just have to burn the bootloader and upload the ArduPilot code to check all the components. Assuming everything works, we'll just give our production partner the green light and three weeks later I can send you to the page with the "buy now"… Continue
Dean Goedde's highly-anticipated Attopilot, in Pro, Basic and RTL form (estimated costs: $800, $400, $100), will have a proper home in ten days, when his site goes live. [UPDATE: Dean doesn't have an exact date for availability, but as he notes in the comment below, he expects to start taking order in 4-6 weeks, with units shipping around… Continue
Jordi has finished the first pass on the code for the new BlimpDuino boards. It's best to consider this pre-alpha and not fully functional, but if you want to see how we read IR and ultrasonic sensors, read RC channels, drive a servo and twin motors and use PID loops to hold altitude and navigate, you'll find it instructive. It's practically a primer in Arduino robotics.
I didn't really warm to podcasts until I got an iPhone, which I naturally sync every day (something I never did with the iPod). Now there's always fresh spoken-word content on my phone, and it's exactly the stuff I want rather than than whatever happens to be on the radio. What I want to listen to is smart shows about UAVs and robots, and fortunately, I've found one. It's called Robots, and you can get it free on iTunes or directly from its… Continue
The South African researchers claim this Zagi flying wing can carry 500 grams of medicine or medical supplies to a location that's otherwise hard to reach. "Clinics in remote areas of South Africa can only be reached on unpaved roads that are impassable in rain," the article says. Given that the range of these electrics is just a… Continue
This is just a gripe. Throughout the electronics world polarized components are marked with the stripe or other distinctive marking on the positive terminal. That's fine. But why is that on SMD LEDs the dot and/or green stripe is on the negative side (the cathode)? For through-hole versions,… Continue
As they say, the last 10% of the development takes 90% of the time. But we're getting close. Here's the latest:
--ArduPilot: we're now on the second beta of the commerical board, which will be manufactured and sold by a commerical partner to be named soon. Fingers crossed, we've finally squashed all the bugs. As soon as the manufactured boards (PCB plus robotic pick-and-place SMD component assembly) come back from our partner in a week or two, we'll optimize the code on the… Continue