Here at DIY Drones, I've been working with other amateurs to create open technology platforms to make it easier for more people to build their own UAVs (for aerial imagery, high-res Google Maps mashups, contests and other flying robot fun).
The good news is that there are a lot of programmers out there happy to donate their time and talent to helping these project along. The bad news is that each of them has their own favorite programming language, and it's up to the organizer (ie,…Continue
In my quest for the perfect pan-tilt gimbal assembly for a small UAV, I've made one out of Lego and have some clumsy ones out of aluminum. Most commercial pan-tilt assemblies are made for much larger cameras than the ones we fly, or they're incredibly expensive turrets meant for military and commercial UAVs. But I've hunted around and found three that appear to be within our size, weight and price range. How do…Continue
Added by Chris Anderson on July 21, 2007 at 10:03pm — No Comments
Added by Chris Anderson on July 16, 2007 at 10:03am — No Comments
Here's a semi-scale Predator. Pretty cool, but it's an ARF so I can't do too much bragging. I just modded an inexpensive ($80) Nitro Models kit with a AXI 2208 brushless motor and added some proper landing gear and
an airscoop to cool the motor in the back. (BTW, Nitro sells two Predators. Get
this one, not the similar…
WASHINGTON — The use of unmanned aircraft in Iraq has surged by nearly one-third since the buildup of U.S. forces began early this year, and drones are now racking up more than 14,000 hours a month in the battlefield skies.
The increase in unmanned aircraft — from high-altitude Global Hawks to short-range…Continue
Added by Chris Anderson on July 10, 2007 at 5:07am — No Comments
There's nothing like a big project for a crash course in a new technology. After choosing the Basic Stamp platform for the embedded processor version of the autopilot, I've now learned the hard way about the complexities and limitations of embedded processors. They're not insurmountable, but they're important to…Continue
Great news on the Lego UAV front. Ralph Hempel, who has been helping me on adding GPS waypoints and navigation to my Mindstorms Autopilot, has cracked the tricky bluetooth integration code problem. Just the review the challenge, it appeared that the easiest way to connect the Mindstorms NXT CPU with a GPS
receiver is via its bluetooth interface. But the native NXT bluetooth stack and
API is very limited, and we couldn't find a good way…
Added by Chris Anderson on July 5, 2007 at 9:33am — No Comments
From the MAKE blog:
Here is a link to pictures of an attempt by a group of Calpoly engineers to have a UAV glider bring back pictures from 100,000 feet. After some sleepless nights and an overwhelming amount of work on hardware and software we launched a glider in California Valley. The…Continue
Added by Chris Anderson on June 18, 2007 at 10:49pm — No Comments
From Wired's Danger Room blog:
"The number of flying robots in the American armed forces' arsenal has gone up by nearly 1400% in four years, military documents show. A relatively-modest unmanned fleet of 217 machines has grown into a 3211-drone…Continue
Added by Chris Anderson on June 13, 2007 at 8:02pm — No Comments
Added by Chris Anderson on June 11, 2007 at 3:27pm — No Comments
My kids and I actually had the first successful test flight of the sub-$1,000 UAV two weekends ago, but I haven't had time to edit the video properly until now. The good news is that a) it didn't crash, and b) it works. We tested stabilization, autonomous navigation (only using compass headings this time, although GPS is in the works), and the real-time video downlink. Everything worked well enough that we're able to see what we have to improve, which is the definition of a successful…Continue
Added by Chris Anderson on May 28, 2007 at 8:25am — No Comments
May 13th, first test flight of both the Lego UAV and the stealth "minimum" UAV at Alameda Naval Air Station. Video coming soon.
Added by Chris Anderson on May 15, 2007 at 10:32pm — No Comments
Description: This UAV, which uses an off-the-shelf autopilot, is the reference platform against which we benchmark the more innovative (and cheaper) custom UAVs that are our main focus at DIY Drones.
The video system listed below, which streams realtime video via a 2.4 GhZ wireless…