It's here! The first beta of the retail ArduCopter frame arrived today, and it's GORGEOUS. Jani has totally outdone himself. Above is the box, which is surprisingly small--just 13" x 4.5". Nice label, tells you what's inside. (This box is just the frame. If you'd ordered the other bits, such as the APM autopilot, GPS, motors, ESCs and props, they would have come in smaller boxes, and they'd all be packed up in one bigger box.)

Everything fits in really neatly.

Here all the parts are laid out. Each subsystem is in its own sealed bag, labeled and numbered.

An example of one bag: the power distribution PCB. Front...

...and back.

An example of the CNC'd parts. Love the little touches, like the name etched in the dome components.

Parts list

Introductory instructions. Full instructions are online.


Next steps: the beta testers are going to build and fly the quads with the latest software. Based on that feedback, we'll finish the documentation and decide on a release candidate of the code, and burn that into the boards. Jani will stock up on a LOT of the component parts, including motors, ESCs and props, and we'll announce a release date and prices for all of the versions, from just the frame to a complete ArduCopter UAV kit with everything included.

Totally thrilling. This project has been a long time in development, starting with the original ArduPilot board, and it's really gratifying to see it hit commercial maturity like this. Jani, you're a star!

Views: 8527

Comment by Bill Porter on August 12, 2010 at 9:31pm

Man, I was saving up for a wedding ring, but this might have to take priority. (j/k, partially :-)

I bet i missed it elsewhere, but any cost predictions?

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on August 12, 2010 at 9:38pm
Bill, we're not announcing prices yet, but it will be as cheap as we can possibly make it. More than the AR.Drone, but at least an order of magnitude cheaper than MikroKopter.
Comment by Bill Porter on August 12, 2010 at 9:42pm
Understood. I found in the old comments that mentioned $350 as the goal (which is more then the AR.Drone) and if it comes close to that, i'd be a happy man.

<--Eagerly awaiting.

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on August 12, 2010 at 9:56pm
And, needless to say, much more capable than the AR.Drone. A full UAV, with GPS waypoints, programmable missions, unrestricted range and a robust outdoors acrobatics-capable airframe. All open source, and totally hackable.
Comment by Taylor Cox on August 12, 2010 at 10:20pm
I'm getting goose bumps lol. Can't wait to get some great pictures of my campus :)

Comment by Ryan Beall on August 12, 2010 at 11:00pm
Finally someone answers the huge demand from the market!

Comment by Gary Mortimer on August 12, 2010 at 11:43pm
Top banana well done the team.
Comment by Dimitar Kolev on August 13, 2010 at 12:12am
When there will be backorder available :-) Great work, looking forward to see more pictures and movies from it
Comment by David Ankers on August 13, 2010 at 1:28am
There is another thing you should add when talking about MikroKopter, you have no commercial use fee either. MK charges 1000 euro license if you want to use their product for commercial work.

That frame looks very nice and there is a lot of work that has gone in to it for sure, fold-able frames like that in the $150 to $200 price bracket normally so this is a real interesting development.
Comment by Jhon on August 13, 2010 at 3:07am
it will be 350$ finally the full kit ? i wish yes,


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