Chris Anderson's Blog – September 2012 Archive (23)

New issue of IEEE Robotics journal does deep comparison of ArduCopter, other open source FCs

Doug Weibel writes:

I just got the most recent issue of IEEE Robotics and Automation magazine, which has a theme of quadcopters as robotics research platforms.  There is a large article describing the various attitude estimation and control algorithms used in Arducopter, OpenPilot, Paparazzi, Pikhawk,…

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Added by Chris Anderson on September 30, 2012 at 6:22am — 9 Comments

Using lasers to keep a UAV in the air indefinitely

We've covered this before, but Hackaday has a good update on the latest ground-based power techniques:…

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Added by Chris Anderson on September 27, 2012 at 11:44am — 8 Comments

New UAV game for Google Earth

geoception.jpg

The Google Earth blog reports:

Over the years we've seen quite a few games that use Google Earth as their platform including gems such as ShipsGoogle Earth War and the …

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Added by Chris Anderson on September 27, 2012 at 11:27am — 6 Comments

Tutorial explains the fundamentals of an IMU

From Hackaday:

An Inertial Measurement Unit is most often found in self-balancing robots and quadcopters, providing enough high-speed sensor data to keep up with the effects of…

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Added by Chris Anderson on September 25, 2012 at 6:14am — 1 Comment

Robotboat on Kickstarter

You can't buy one, but you can back what seems like a very interesting project: to help build a vehcile that could set an autonomous sailing world record. Eighteen days to go and they're at $30,000 towards a $80,000 goal.

From the…

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Added by Chris Anderson on September 23, 2012 at 2:35pm — 5 Comments

New Orleans cancels plans for Super Bowl drone after press inquiries

Sounds like somebody neglected to research FAA rules before getting excited about putting an eye in the sky.

From BoingBoing

Above, "…

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Added by Chris Anderson on September 19, 2012 at 2:34pm — 9 Comments

Etching a power distribution PCB

If you're buying a premade quadcopter kit like ArduCopter, it will come with a PCB-based Power Distribution Board. But what if you're making your own? You either have to wire together your own harness or, like xnaron did here, …

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Added by Chris Anderson on September 17, 2012 at 2:01pm — 1 Comment

Glimpse of the future: "Missing Drone" flyers

From the Lawfare blog:

This excellent picture was forwarded to me by a colleague here at Brookings. It was shot by his friend,…

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Added by Chris Anderson on September 14, 2012 at 10:30am — 12 Comments

Propeller design for 3D printing

Lots of people have suggested 3D printing propellers, but Landru is the first I've seen to do it. Looks pretty good! (I'm not sure I'd trust my old Makerbot with this--he's got a better printer.) …

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Added by Chris Anderson on September 12, 2012 at 5:15pm — 7 Comments

Serves me right for calling it the "ArduCopter Calibration Dance" ;-)

I threw together a little video for the manual showing how I calibrate the magnetometer in the ArduCopter setup. And then YouTube user cylllka put it to music. Catchy! If I had known I'd be making…

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Added by Chris Anderson on September 12, 2012 at 4:57pm — 10 Comments

APM 2.5 production finally caught up!

This picture is the last of the backlogged APM 2.5 orders going out from the 3DR shipping department. Orders should be shipped within 1-2 days from now on. Whew!

Demand was overwhelming but the 3DR team brought the second Tijuana pick-and-place line up with some state-of-the-art machines and it's finally running smoothly now. The line can now handle 500 APM 2.5 boards a week (in addition to its share of all the other 3DR products).

We're still…

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Added by Chris Anderson on September 12, 2012 at 2:00pm — 11 Comments

Android IOIO board to control a RC truck

Another great hack from Hackaday:

This RC truck can be controlled with the tip of your thumb or the tilt of a wrist. That’s thanks to …

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Added by Chris Anderson on September 11, 2012 at 9:30am — 1 Comment

DIY Drones at 29,000 members!

As is customary and traditional, we celebrate every new 1,000 members here and share the traffic stats. This time it's 29,000!…

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Added by Chris Anderson on September 11, 2012 at 5:33am — 5 Comments

If you're using Sharp IR sensors on ArduRover, watch out for asymmetry

If you're using the Sharp IR sensor as an obstacle detector on your ArduRover, you should know that it doesn't see left and right equally. Here's some good analysis on its real detection pattern. So you might want to tilt the sensor a bit to the…

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Added by Chris Anderson on September 10, 2012 at 6:00am — 1 Comment

MultiWii Pro w/GPS available at HobbyKing

This is an amazing price for a very capable multicopter flight controller board with GPS: just $65!

The MultiWii team has been…

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Added by Chris Anderson on September 8, 2012 at 5:40pm — 15 Comments

Multicopters welcome at the Sparkfun Autonomous Vehicle Competition again!

Good news: After banning multicopters this year because of space/safety concerns, Sparkfun will be moving the aerial competitions to another location next year so all vehicles can participate. 

At this point, you might be asking yourself, "Self, how can they possibly allow unlimited…

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Added by Chris Anderson on September 6, 2012 at 9:34am — 2 Comments

BBC video feature on drones

Watch it on the BBC's site here (embedding not enabled, sadly). Includes a bit about the troubles the West Wales Airport, which is hoping to become a drone center, is having finding tenants. Also includes an opera singer, who is worried about drones over her…

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Added by Chris Anderson on September 5, 2012 at 12:46pm — 3 Comments

Retractable pan/tilt gimbal, now in mini size

That cool retractable pan/tilt that we wrote about last week is now available in a mini size. $25 for MDF, or $35 for ABS plastic. Details …

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Added by Chris Anderson on September 5, 2012 at 10:37am — 13 Comments

APM 1 boards, now at clearance prices!

The APM 1 board is still very popular, especially with fixed-wing pilots, but our world is moving to the smaller APM 2.x boards pretty quickly. So 3D Robotics is clearing their inventory of APM 1 boards with much lower prices. 

The full APM 1 kit is now $100 off, …

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Added by Chris Anderson on September 4, 2012 at 9:41pm — 15 Comments

ATMOS, a VTOL plane with autonomous transitioning from vertical to horizontal

I'm not quite sure that they're right that this is the first autonomous transition from vertical to horizontal flight (there are some others that do that already, including Quadshot, although I suppose they could argue that it's more of a copter than a plane, or…

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Added by Chris Anderson on September 4, 2012 at 10:47am — 12 Comments

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Season Two of the Trust Time Trial (T3) Contest 
A list of all T3 contests is here. The current round, the Vertical Horizontal one, is here

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