Hi there! It has been almost a year since we re-opened our DIY store and I can report a lot is going on inside mRo as I write this. Our mission to be the best drone component manufacturer in the USA (World?) is no easy task!
In January, our sales increased more than we have anticipated, rather than compromise on our mission, I decided to stay quiet and not promote anything until we had stabilized our production line, sadly that was not possible (duh!). I was afraid that if we continued to grow that fast, we would start having problems and... I was right, we did. We have been able to iron out all those issues. Luckily, one of our first steps was a proper ERP/MRP system, which helped us keep production details very accurate and we added several new automated inspection machines.
I would like to thanks all our customers who supported us and gave us the chance to correct all our initial mistakes. We will not let you down, we never did!
I also wanted to share my gratitude to all mRo staff who have done unbelievable things to keep everything running smoothly and help implement all the foundations needed in our quest to be a World Class, NASA grade company.
I'm glad to announce the merging of AUAV and mRo.
After working together with Phillip Kocmoud & Nick Arsov, we realized we had numerous "parallel" projects, so it didn't make sense to compete and work double. On the other side mRo didn't have the bandwidth to layout a new autopilot (at the moment), and AUAV already had cool autopilots that when combined with mRo manufacturing capabilities in California will allow us both to have such fantastic systems available sooner and with constant high quality supply (& support). That means more and better DIY options for everyone. ;-) AUAV continues to focus on research and development as well as outsourced custom flight controller designs, if your hobby needs become more serious. This can cut a design solution time-frame to just a fraction.
With this merging, mRo will become one of the most experienced DIY Drone companies in the world (Sounds cool huh?).
Putting under our belts the experience of creating/debugging products like Ardupilot 1, APM1, APM2.5, ArduIMU 1&2, PX4 Autopilot, PixHawk 1, The Solo Cube, Solo Link, AUAV3 (UAV Dev Board. Hi Bill we love you and your DCM!), PixRacer, AUAV X2, X2, X2.1, AUAV X3, AUAV X4, Pixhawk Pro (The FMUv4 Standard). Among other innovative products (at their time) like the MinimOSD, optimized PPM encoder, uBlox GPS to the masses, differential I2C and the first budget power module with hall sensor. Just to mention a few. =P
Clarification: In most of those projects we were involved 100% and when I say we, I mean AUAV team and ex-3DR employees that now some of them work for mRo, not just designing, but also in the complex production lines, from ex-Tijuana factory and China (when fabricated Solo).
[Picture for sizing reference, plus a few Easter eggs, except for PH2 or PixHawk Mini, we've made everything else]
Here comes the "meat," our new products for you:
-uGPS, uBlox SAM8. The tiniest GPS+Glonass GPS out there, it also has a built-in magnetometer. uBlox entirely designed the antenna+RF and we trust them with our lives! Well, the life of our Drones.
-ACSP7 is ready! First micro (17mm x 17mm) power module with hall sensor, no more invasive, noisy readings (especially below 5-8 Amperes).
-Next generation AirSpeed sensor. MS5525, Temperature compensated. Wuju!
-FTDI to JST-GH. Easily attach your ports or GPSs for debugging.
-Military grade Shielding for your GPS.
-Don't forget our list of Fantastic Cables and where to find them!
-X2.1 Rev B. Which is a redux version of the robust and popular PixHawk1, but with newer/better sensors, and some standard JST-GH connections and incredibly flexible when building your drone. We are not adopting any known names like PixHawk 4000 or Ardupilot 7000; sadly there are a lot of politics and interests everywhere right now that can potentially delay our products. We just want to focus on designing good electronics and make them available to you as soon as possible, so you can get the work done or get fun.
Note: Pins can be either right angle, straight or both.
The X2.1 has a few advantages, with ArduPilot 3.5, dampening is no longer required, which reduces price and removes failing points. I can tell you a lot of the issues I saw on the Cube used on Solo (We have the official Solo repair center in the same roof, Current UAS). Is not that bad, you can easily fix most of those issues, for example, a common problem the cube has is the foam getting stuck, with X2.1 you don't have to worry about this.
Besides, the dampening was calibrated just for SOLO so that it won't be as useful in other vehicles with a substantial difference in vibrating frequencies. We proposed sorting the cubes in different colors, so each had a different damping frequency range. For this and other reasons, as 3DR, we decided not to make our own version of the Cube and rather give an actual DIY attribute to X2.1.
So, X2.1 is the most DIY friendly and capable Autopilot we have made so far. You can adapt and solder your custom shields with ease in just minutes, or you can get fancy and layout your PCB to populate all you want on board, no complex, difficult to align connectors required. If you are not interested in that, you can just use standard 0.1" pins/cables to plug into your system. Every pin, almost every signal is the same as PixHawk 1, expect an excellent integration with your "actual" drone.
-Lastly but not least, our Solo Link, now mRo Link, based on the i.MX6.
Believe it or not, we are still working on this project as I mentioned here. Now that 3DR has officially open sourced the SOLO; we feel more comfortable than ever to put full weight on this project. We already have everything working; we just need to remove what is not required and make it "smaller." Check our picture up here with all of the boards. You might see it.
We are bringing a top engineer from the other side of the world to dedicate to this project during August 2017 fully. So expect more news early September 2017. BTW we know that somebody else already released something (Fox), which we fully support and that is precisely what we love about open source. We hope to work together in the future.
Enjoy my wife's lazy cat: