3D Robotics

DIY Drones team at Maker Faire

3689408284?profile=originalMaker Faire was awesome. More than 100,000 people attended over two days, and it felt like almost all of them came by the DIY Drones booth! We had 12 team members manning the booth, and it took all of us to handle the crowds, which were usually two or three deep. Our cool t-shirts and hoodies were as popular as our electronics. Thanks to all who came to say hi!


Highlights included hanging out with the Google Cloud Robotics team (who worked with us on the PhoneDrone board) and Arduino co-founder Massimo Banzi coming by to meet with the team to coordinate our work with the Arduino roadmap (I can't say much more about it, but you're going to be blown away by what Arduino is capable of. Look for news later this summer, but the short form is if pro-level hardware and development tools are what you want, you won't be disappointed. The DIY Drones team is going to be a big part of it).


Shown above: Banzi with some of the DIY Drones and Udrones teams. From left; Jeff Taylor, me, Massimo Banzi, Jordi Munoz, Guillermo Romero, Sam Kelly, Lorenzo Lopez.


We did tons of demos, including one with Miles O'Brien from PBS's Newshour, where we filmed the newscast from the air while they were filming ArduCopter from below.


Here's a demo at the main stage, with Massimo and live GCS:




And towards the end, when Gigio was feeling really brave, he even did demos in the booth!


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  • Theory 1: Arduino is genius
    Theory 2. The first Open Source c compiler for microcontrollers was AVR-GCC. Which means that any opensource board for AVC was likely to overtake the BasicStamp momentum - in spite, rather than because of its design.

    Genius wouldn't place .1" headers next to each other at non .1" intervals. 'nuff said.
    Accident happen; Arduino is an engineering trainwreck - but... slightly less of a trainwreck than the "charge for the ships - charge even more for the IDE" business model of Freescale, Microchip.

    Basic Stamp, by contrast is an elegant footprint, using a standard part layout for all pins, I' mean it's not like there wasn't an engineering role model.

    Whatever - I only care 'cause I'm as stuck with the layout as anyone else.
  • T3

    Now we see who's behind the community that runs like a snowball. Time to bring a few senate members to the hobby.

  • Chris,

    Just seen the DIYDrones slot on Wired. Looks really good!

    Roughly how many people did you have going through the stand over the course of the fair?
  • Moderator


    The open hardware business model is totally different of firmware and software . I agree with Chris. Main problem of this approach is that if a cloner change the rule of game ... you lost your race :(

    So if the user see only the price is not possible to doing business in opensource hardware :( Or is possible but only inside a community that follow the hardware maker . That reply fast as possible to request of customers.

    So the user are happy to pay the service . So Arduino or not Arduino ... I think that Massimo are doing a very good work and develop a huge community. But i think that  Diydrones community is another things . Less user that need a good platform for his uav.

    Multipilot32 isn't a arduino platform or compatible arduino platform. Implement the C++ library developed in Diydrones community and support basic class implemented in arduino micro controller.

    My starting point was great leaflabs project doing on STM32 that i think that is very good micro controller.  The low leve library used in Multipilot32 is libmaple lib that support a lot of feature that is not yet available in standard arduino framework.I think that Arduino community have a huge contribution of library from our community.


    The powerfull of MP32 project is :

    C/C++ language.

    Diydrones Library.

    Diydrones Firmware and Software contribution.

    Arduino Ide and simple approach for entry level user.

    Eclipse ide and jtag platform for professional application and debug.

    My passion and work on the project :)




  • ..Arduino Roadmap

    Hi Michael I do not completely agree with "....the first one out..the first to market..is the leader..the winner..the take the biggest piece of the pie guy..the gold standard"

    If I would create a Arduino Hardware with a 32 bit processor at first guy, this would not be a guarantee that I will have success. I need to publish the product and need a good destribution channel to sell it.Roberto with his MP32 Board shows that it is possible to build an Ardu compatible 32 Bit board which works. Would this product sold in the DIY Drones shop, it would have great success I think, but at the moment it is only avaiable by emailng him (he has no online shop) which reduces the chance to become one of the big ardu players.
    Now on the other side Chris is an intelligent guy who maybe knows something about some Microchip based board out there which maybe support arduino code.

    If he would create a nice board and place it in the shop it would be a success, because all of us know the shop and know the quality, service and so on. 

    That isn't bad, we all will have a benefit from it.


    I think the Ardu Hardware Roadmap or a discussion about it would be a good idea.

    Maybe we should start an extra thread for it.

    I think we all agree that we need a more modern processor.

    I'm a fan of Cortex M3 processors wich are build from different companys, different periphery but all with the same core. The LPC1768 is one I 'm working with at the moment, but the STM32F103 is one which is more used in the ArduCopter scene (like OpenPilot,MP32, and AutoQuad5).




  • will we ever see DIY Drones clothing available ??
  • 3D Robotics

    Michael: Fair point. The big difference between hardware and software is that preparing for hardware manufacturing requires many tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars of investment in components and manufacturing capacity. As you say, the risk is high, and it's impossible to do at scale with anything other than a for-profit company. Thus, as you point out, a somewhat more conventional approach to product releases than one might find in software. 


    That doesn't mean that open source hardware development doesn't work, only that it tends to be less open than the software side of the equation. Think of it as more of a hybrid model. We're all finding our way here, but so far that seems sustainable and you certainly can't complain about the amount of innovation in the Arduino world. Once the official boards are released, the derivative designs (including our own) come fast and furious!


    It's post-release open source, not pre-release, but open source all the same. 

  • I am as fond as arduino as the next guy, don't have a bad thing to say about it, I harness it at work when I can (even today), have encouraged a few users by giving them arduino boards and cables and got them started on their way.  I mention this because I don't want what I say to be taken negatively in so much as it is an observation.  I noticed it as the arduino uno unfolded and a similar sequence of events will be occurring with arduino current pro development.  Arduino means a lot of different things to alot of different people.  What it has fostered to all users is the concept of open source, software and hardware, a platform for the people but only sort of by the people.  It is easy to forget that Arduino is still actually a for profit company and must protect it's intellectual property until the time is right to maximize it's return on investment.  The arduino software is open and all can participate in it's development if they so wish to....but the hardware is another story.  I am surprised somewhat that some 10000 to 15000 potential or current arduino users have not replied or asked,  What Is the Arduino Roadmap and why isn't it shared or open to the community?  Arduino customers and users and developers view Arduino as the peoples company..as an enabler and extension of their own open work, I believe it sends mixed messages that they're working on something secret for the open community, really?  We believe in open hardware and open software but secret development, really?  Reminiscent of Google's open source android development, the latest and greatest is available only to those in the inner circle.  Where do we send the NDAs? lol


    What this highlights is that there is a difference between open source software and open source hardware.  Open source software begins with a repo out in the open and involvement by all begins..software is free..no risk.

    Open source hardware development doesn't work because the risk is too high...the first one out..the first to market..is the leader..the winner..the take the biggest piece of the pie guy..the gold standard.

  • Chris, Those black DIY Drone Tee shirts look great. Any chance you'll be selling them on your site? DIY Drones coffee mugs would be cool too....
  • Developer

    Here is a video I found on youtube with Massimo and a flying quad demo. Looking good!


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