3D Robotics


A great announcement from DroneDeploy, whose cloud-based drone management service is optimized for APM and Pixhawk-controlled drones. From sUAS News:

Today, DroneDeploy launches their web-based drone control platform,  enabling users to control drones over the internet. The software is designed to simplify drone workflows, making it easy to create high-precision surveys, agricultural maps, and point clouds.

The cloud-based software is enabled by their Copilot – a smart cellular telemetry radio, which  makes it possible to control drones, directly from a smartphone or any internet connected device.dronedeploybox.png?width=250

The Copilot not only controls drones, but controls the sensors. According to Mike Winn, CEO, “the Copilot can control several types of cameras, and can upload the data as it is collected, enabling automatic processing of the data. Drone operators can get stitched maps produced within minutes of landing, and share it with others instantly. Previously this would have taken hours!”

The DroneDeploy software can enable control of multiple drones, or in fact have many people collaborate in the operation of one drone. Jono Millin, CPO, explains “You can imagine a wind turbine inspection where engineers back in the office can get imagery back in real time, and  coordinate closer inspection of turbines with potential problems.”

Nick Pilkington, CTO continued, “While there are so many applications of this technology, and we’re actually looking to create more by working with partners and specialists to enhance our workflows for more drone use-cases”.

The product launches today, with an “Explorer Program”, giving access to just 50 teams to start using their product. The device is $299, and applications start today onwww.DroneDeploy.com

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  • Am I the only one who's  concerning with the cost connected to a huge mobile data transfer? I mean, each survey might collect at least 1 Gb data. I don't know how is abroad, but in Italy it might be very expensive compared to a classical "office upload"

  • Ah, thanks for the update Bill!

  • Moderator

    I am in the DroneDeploy explorer program, and I have DroneDeploy telemetry system, which I have not 'deployed' yet.  I intend to in the very near future, and will keep you posted.

  • So are there any updates from the Drone Deploy team? Is 3DR working with them on anything?

  • As previously stated the security concerns are far reaching.   I'm also a little put off by the amount of data that is likely to be collected.  I'm all about increasing functionality and having greater command and control, just not at the costs this poses.  That said, its going to be interesting to see how things develop.  

  • Moderator

    This picture also shows it with cheap motors - I'm using sunnysky 3508 700KV motors.  All carbon fiber airframe, balsa and vinyl fuselage.  The airframe without motors and electronics is only 440 grams and amazingly rigid.  I can post detailed specs if you're interested.

  • Moderator

    I'm working on this for long range flying.  It's a tilt rotor multi-copter.  I can get 30 minutes on a  4S 5000ma lipo - and it can easily carry 10000ma.   Right now it's set up with a gopro + tarot gimbal.   This photo doesn't show the GPS/Compass and telemetry antennas.  I'll upload some video of it flying soon. 

    I was thinking of doing a crowdfunding campaign for it.  


  • I'm flying the NEX6 w/ 20mm f/2.8 lens on my 3DR 2013 Y6, as well as in a home-built skywalker for longer flights.  It's a really great camera for surveying!

  • Bill- In their demo they show images being transmitted in real time (granted, they did note that it was a mock demo and not a real-world flight), and this is mirrored on their website ("Transmit data in-flight, and share data as you collect it").  This wording is open enough that I may have misinterpreted their offering, but sitting right next to an NDVI map on an iPad suggests that by "data" they mean image data.  

  • Moderator

    Why would you need to send the compressed JPGs to the ground while flying?  Can't you just recover them from the camera?  I would be using skydrone or something similar as a long range 'pilot cam' - with a separate camera for photography.   

    Also, I'm curious to know what you're flying your NEX6 on.  I plan to use one in the near future. 

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