Commercial Quadrotor Recommendations?

I am setting up a lab this summer for some student research that will be similar in most ways to this one at MIT:

I would like to buy 6-8 commercially available trirotor or quadrotor helicopters in the $1000 - $1500 price range that would be similar in capabilities to the old Draganflyer V Ti. I've looked around and I would be very happy using Parrot AR Drones, but they have not set a date for releasing them or published a price. Likewise, Draganfly's web site says they will release their E4 in 2010, but no price or date of availability either. I could swear their web site used to say the E4 was coming in 2009.

I will only have the students for 10 weeks, so I would rather have them doing higher-level research using copters that work out-of-the-box and have available spare parts than have them spend a big part of their summer testing and debugging copters that they have built from scratch. Any suggestions?


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  • No Problem. Our Trilogy will have more power than you need. And does not require any onboard processors. It is all Gyro based. no CPU boards at all! :) It is probably the most stable platform I have used for aerial photography!
  • Thanks for the good suggestions! The Mongrel looks really smooth and the X600 has a lot of power. I'll keep investigating. It would be nice to buy one of each and have a fly-off...
  • Hi, Sure.

    The Tri-Copter has booms that are 420mm long, with the motors spaced equally on each boom.

    All up the bird will way about 1200 grams, ready to fly. (inc battery) and will fly for about 10 minutes or so.

    It hovers on 15A - so depending what battery you use, you can get more air time... but the heavier you make it, the harder the motors will work, and the harder it will be to fly.

  • John, I look your website - videos looking good. Can you give some data more like dimensions, own weight, load possibility and time in air with some load (if tested)? I guess I can extract those from props and motors power, but it is not straightforward for beginner like me. Thanks in advance

    Garry, if you have a little bit more money to spend and want to use AUVSI winner from previous year check (complete systems)
  • Hi Garry,

    We provide fully built Tri-Copters that will pretty much fly "out of the box" You can see info on it here..

    Let me know if this is of interest to you?

    John (aka The Mongrel)
  • I don't have a X600 I ask your opinion of that quad.
    I bought several pieces for my Heli (3dx400) in cnchelicopter and they have lots of spares. Ask they directly about props.
  • Mariano,
    can any of the AP here integrated with X600? what else (other than what is mentioned in web site ) needed?
    I can see there are two(clockwise and anticlockwise) types of props available, if I want to order spare prop , do I need one pair of each? thanks
    Has any used this or vouch for X600 ? any photos of your x600 ? thanks
  • Cool, I was going to contact their U.S. sales rep tomorrow. I heard that the demand for dev kits had been pretty overwhelming.
  • 3D Robotics
    You can get the Parrot AR.Drone devkits now. They charge $1,200 each, but if you're buying more than one I'l bet they'll give you a discount. I've got two of them and they're awesome.
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