This is a short demo of our "BlimpDuino", a toy RC blimp that has been turned into an autonomous aerial robot driven by an Arduino open source embedded processors. It uses an ultrasonic sensor to maintain altitude and IR sensors to detect a ground-based IR beacon. This demo just shows the blimp circling the beacon and maintaining altitude. Eventually this will become a <$70 modkit that you can buy, but we've got a lot of work to do before then.

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Comment by Alasdair Allan on April 28, 2008 at 4:48am
I'm guessing you're using the high lift envelope from Or are you finding there is enough lift from the standard envelope?

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on April 28, 2008 at 7:24am
We are using that envelope, but we only fill it 2/3rds full with helium and fill out the rest of the bag by just blowing air in with a straw. Which is to say that we have plenty of lift to spare. Our gondola, with everything included, is about 80 grams, and the envelope can lift a maximum of about 130 grams.

So the short answer is that we can use any 52" envelope. The high-lift one is expensive and overkill, and the slightly smaller capacity Mach III 52" envelope works equally well at half the price.


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