DIY Drones' big new pick-and-place machine up and running!

Our big new Manncorp pick-and-place machine is now up and running in our new San Diego factory, joining the smaller pick-and-place that we already had. In the above video, it's placing components on IMU shields in pairs. We should be back in full production by the end of the week. We have all components on hand, including the hard-to-find dataflash chips, so we should be ready to meet demand for ArduCopter and the public release of the APM code. (ArduCopter pre-orders will probably begin in about two weeks, with shipments in about a month)

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Comment by Dimitar Kolev on September 30, 2010 at 12:24am
Cheers for the machine, Chris and all others in the team :-) Growing in good instruments and machines are always exiting. When we can expect ArduCopter or at least ArduCopter controller for EU?
Comment by Ersin Acar on September 30, 2010 at 12:54am
hmmm it feels good :)
Comment by Simone Chiaretta on September 30, 2010 at 2:13am
Since you say "pre-orders will probably begin in about two weeks", do you already have an estimate of how much the various kits will cost? I'm mostly interested in the full KIT. Not a precise price of course, but a +/-50$ range will be enough
Comment by Jeffrey batista on September 30, 2010 at 4:19am
how many boards does it build daily

Comment by Sgt Ric on September 30, 2010 at 8:37am
Thats a good question.

Remembering the live video feed from Sparkfun last year as they made the first ArduPilot boards, it was hard to guess the output since it would run slow and suddenly have a blindingly fast spurt of action, so I couldn't even guess how many were coming off the line.
Comment by Bill Vickers on September 30, 2010 at 9:04am
Living in San Diego, when these boards are ready for sale again, would it be possible to do a local pickup directly from the factory, or do I need to order from the site?
Comment by James Slizewski on September 30, 2010 at 9:28am
Hi, this could be a really stupid question but can the ArduPilot Mega and ArduPilot IMU be used for both copter and airplane? (the budget minded want to know...)


3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on September 30, 2010 at 9:34am
Yes, ArduCopter and ArduPilot Mega (fixed wing) use the same AP electronics. You just load different software. You can move the electronics from plane to quad to heli, no prob.
Comment by James Slizewski on September 30, 2010 at 9:40am
I'm awed by your lightning fast reply, my wallet has breathed a sigh of relief, and I only now fear being beaten once by my wife instead of twice. Thanks Chris.

(j/k'ing about the wife thing... she kinda likes the idea so now that it's one board I probably won't be beat at all).
Comment by ken wood on September 30, 2010 at 1:20pm
That is some sweet machine. Way back when my little company was making a special board we outsourced a company to do all of the surface mount (size of Sen-Sen). I would do all of the 'dumb' parts by hand. 120 pin connector, and other stuff left me with 700 hand solders. I got pretty good; I could usually do them in under 8 minutes.


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