Made in China!

Don't know what to say.

Ardupilot mega IMU: 520 rmb = 80 USD

Ardupilot mega 240.00 rmb = 36 USD

I found Ardupilot Mega + IMU board on (taobao)

I have no idea about quality, sensor or anything else.


Any comments?



Views: 12548

Comment by Vincent Mees on May 18, 2011 at 1:43pm
Probably a fox "trap"

Comment by John Church on May 18, 2011 at 1:45pm

Hey, my Foxtrap works great!  :)


And, I see they included the dip switches that are going away...  Nice job, cloners...

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on May 18, 2011 at 1:45pm
Our products are open source, so this is allowed. However they may not use the name ("ArduPilot Mega") or our logo, which are trademarked. So we'll be filing to make them change the name.

Needless to say, if you buy these boards, you can't get support from us and who knows what the quality is. So caveat emptor!
Comment by Mike on May 18, 2011 at 1:47pm

Some other great bargains there LEA-4T for $27 on a breakout with an antenna!


Comment by John Church on May 18, 2011 at 1:51pm
That screener from the DIYD store is pretty well cloned, too...  I understand this is open source, but for crying out loud, put your own logo on it instead of trying to pass it off as something it's not.
Comment by Matthias Badaire on May 18, 2011 at 2:09pm


Can you tell us what does it mean for this community if you get less money from us ? ie: are the core dev paid/supported by diydrones sales ? is it paying for the forums website ?

I just want to understand why it may not be a good thing for the long term to go chinese and to counter-balance the short term benefits.

Comment by Matthias Badaire on May 18, 2011 at 2:11pm
jeez, they even replicated and translate the wiki ....
Comment by Hamish on May 18, 2011 at 2:28pm

Buy from DIYDrones, all the profits go to making awesome new products and to those who deserve it !


I thoroughly doubt the chinese will invest their profits in pioneering affordable autopilots


at least thats what i like to think :X

Comment by Ritchie on May 18, 2011 at 3:09pm
Buying from DIYdrones means you get support for it as we know what has gone into it. The clone will be cheaper as it is knocked together without research and as such problems will be only in it. They have cloned everything though.

The annoyance for me is they actually link to the real APM wiki and say it's the English version

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on May 18, 2011 at 3:15pm

It's pretty simple. 3D Robotics is a hardware development business. The more successful we are as a business, the more hardware designers we can hire to create new products, and the more production equipment we can buy to make them, the more customer support we can provide etc. We're 100% focused on creating great products for this community. If we grow, it's because we've given our customers what they want. 


DIY Drones, meanwhile, is a community. It is built by you all and exists to serve your needs. It's free and always will be. This community not only provides information and support for each other, but also includes the many dozens of people who make up the development teams that create the software that gives the 3D Robotics hardware all of its value. The most important work is done by volunteers here and given freely to all.


This is the classic open source hardware model. Software, which costs nothing to distribute, is free. Hardware, which is expensive to make, is priced at the minimum necessary to ensure the healthy growth of a sustainable business to ensure quality, support and availability of the products. All intellectual property is given away, so the community can use it, improve it, make their own variants, etc. 


The possibility that others would clone the products is built into the model. It's specifically allowed by our open source licence. Ideally, people would change/improve the products ("derivative designs") to address market needs that they perceive and we have not addressed. That's the sort of innovation that open source is designed to promote. But if they only clone the products and sell them at lower prices, that's okay, too. The marketplace will decide.


Either way, the DIY Drones community will be unaffected. It is not a business, but rather a free service by and for the members (the small hosting costs are paid for by Google AdSense ads). 


BTW, Arduino has gone through exactly the same situation, with many Chinese cloners. The clones were sometimes of lower quality, but even when they were good most people continued to support the official Arduino products and the developers that created them. Today, clones have a small share of the market, mostly in very price sensitive markets such as China. And frankly, being able to reach a lower-price market is a form of innovation, too, and that is no bad thing. 


Personally, I'm delighted to see this development, for four reasons.

  1. I think it's great that people have translated the wiki into Chinese, which makes it accessible to more people.
  2. It's a sign of success-- you only get cloned if you're making something people want.
  3. Competition is good.
  4. What starts as clones may eventually become real innovation and improvements. Remember that our licence requires that any derivative designs must also be open source. Think how great would it be if a Chinese team created a better design than ours. Then we could turn the tables and produce their design, translating the documentation into English and making them available to a market outside China. Everybody wins! (Hey, a guy can dream ;-) )



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