Local Motors Airbus Cargo Drone-1st Test Flight

Not really much to say, just read the report.


Views: 2673

Comment by Auturgy on November 3, 2016 at 2:53pm
One could get frustrated by such things, or be amused by the comedy.

3D Robotics
Comment by Julian on November 3, 2016 at 4:33pm

LOL what a POS. Didn't even have to be downwind of it to smell it.

Comment by Global Innovator on November 3, 2016 at 4:59pm


Failure was part of the plan

On Oct. 28, 2016, at the Drone Port in Boulder City, NV, we conducted a flight test. What happened next ...

https://d1yoaun8syyxxt.cloudfront.net/ao193-10995bf6-3be7-4e77-81aa..." alt="Airbus Cargo Drone Challenge" style="width: 100%; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" class="CToWUd a6T" width="600"/>

On Oct. 28, 2016, at the Drone Port in Boulder City, NV, we conducted a flight test for the Zelator, the winning design of the Airbus Cargo Drone Challenge. The flight test had two main objectives:

  1. Test the systems integration
  2. Perform first hover or identify shortfalls that prevent hovering

The test flight succeeded in testing the systems integration and uncovered several critical structural flaws. In other words, it was a successful failure.

This drone is a representation of just 10 weeks of work and is simply a test article to work though the building of the winning design. This first test flight is part of the process and is a way to understand how together with the community we can identify the next set of materials and construction to really get the Zelator off the ground. That's where you come in.

Let's co-create on the solutions.

The co-creation process moves fast and is iterative. We aren't building show pieces. We are building things quickly. Designing, engineering, testing, changing, failing, and fixing. Repeat. This is how together we will co-create the future.

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Comment by Global Innovator on November 3, 2016 at 5:29pm

just received

may be of some interest to developers



Dear Developer,

We’re happy to tell you that version 3.4 of the DJI Mobile SDK is now available for download. In this new version, we’ve added support for DJI’s latest product, the Mavic Pro , and its new features including gesture recognition, ActiveTrack, Profile, Spotlight, Tripod and Terrain Follow, live HD preview, the OcuSync transmission system, and its new remote controller.

As always, the DJI Dev Team is committed to improving your developer experience; feel free to report any bugs or questions you have on the DJI Developer Forums or email dev@dji.com.

Please make sure that you are always working on the latest version of the DJI SDK by frequently checking the Downloads page.

The DJI Dev Team



Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on November 3, 2016 at 6:21pm

What on earth does DJI have to do with the LocalMotors project?

Comment by Hector Garcia de Marina on November 4, 2016 at 4:41am


Somehow I believe that in a couple of years a study will be published about how an AI tried to pass the Turing test in this forum...

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on November 4, 2016 at 6:01am

As for the rest of the test... I just...  what can you say anymore?

Comment by Rainer K. on November 4, 2016 at 6:40am

What about everything in the world, that is, with such a part one does not go into the public.

With Apm the part would fly

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on November 4, 2016 at 7:00am

Actually, I was going to mention that.  

If they were running Ardupilot, the vehicle would be able to hover even with a CG like that.  We demonstrated that years ago.  So, while the CG offset is a failure of the mechanical engineering guys, this also demonstrated that PX4 Flight Stack is underdeveloped.  As we all know.

You know, this is over 4 YEARS ago.  (skip ahead to 4:20)  And this is, as always with Ardupilot, real world performance.  Not laboratory conditions which PX4 demo videos are typically operating.

The rest of this, have these guys ever built any RC aircraft before?  What is with the attachment of the control surfaces?  Why does the surface look like elephant skin?  Why does the body look like blocks of foam, loosely assembled and bridged with packing tape, all spray painted red?

Why does the vehicle look nothing like the rendering that won the competition, other than the fact it's red?

Fastening the motors to the landing gear with string?  How did they get all the way out to the test field, without having run up the motors to find out the structure was hugely deficient?  What are the lift motor support arms made from?  Is that plastic tube?

And whenever they do get it off the ground, then they realize that PX4 is just not capable of flying a system that big.  Why haven't they already tested this with a mock-up?  Has anybody EVER seen PX4 flying a multirotor with props bigger than 15"?  Let alone a multirotor with wings attached?  The control algorithm is just not there.

I feel a little bit bad even commenting anymore at this point.  But I just am shocked at where money moves in this industry.

Comment by John Arne Birkeland on November 4, 2016 at 8:55am

If they are having structural problems now, just imagine if they decide to also include the bent wing structure as in the original concept.

But what really gets me is that the entire thing is like reading the happy adventures of your typical DIY amateur starting from scratch with no prior knowledge about what works and how to build drones, happily ignoring any and all advice from the community in the process. Something that is very puzzling when you consider the companies involved.


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