NVdrones: Create a Drone App in Minutes!

Hi everyone,

Its been a while since our last update for our closed beta. We've been busy working on our hardware, firmware, SDKs, and our pre-order page. 

We are excited to share the latest of our endeavors with the community.

 

As a reminder, NVdrones strives to offer the simplest way to write drone apps. We are hardware-agnostic, which means you can use use our board with any flight controller and additional hardware. If you can access the flight controller (using PPM or PWM) and attach our board to it, you can make an application for your drone in minutes.

 

Technical Specs/Features

 

Our hardware developer kit consists of two parts. The NVextender, which is connected to a flight controller on the drone through PPM/PWM, and a dongle, which is used by the ground station. This allows you to autonomously and remotely control the drone over Xbee (further clarification in the section below), whether it is an Arduino board, smartphone, or a PC.

 

The technical specifications of the NVextender is as follows:

 

  • CPU: ATmega2560

  • 8 programmable digital pins: with PWM support

  • GPS port: easy attachment and auto-configuring

  • Built-in Autopilot Features: Fly-Home, GPS hold, Fly-To position, etc.

  • Easily Configurable Auto-Pilot (Coming Soon)

  • Serial buss: SPI, I2C, and UART.

  • External power: 4 power ports for servos, actuators and anything else needing extra power (total of 1 amp)

  • Xbee port: Swappable module for wireless communication.

 

During development, we put a huge emphasis on easy expansion and extensions. Our goal is to allow you to build an entire end-to-end drone solution in the easiest way possible.  

 

The dongle, as mentioned above, is the device that stays on the ground and adds an Xbee wireless connection to whatever device you choose to write your app for.

 

The technical specification of the dongle is as follows:

 

  • Xbee port: Swappable module for wireless communication.

  • Bluetooth: to be used with a smartphone

  • USB: to be used with a PC or MAC

  • Serial: to be used with a Arduino board

  • Rechargeable battery over microUSB

 

You can think of the dongle as a small box that adds Xbee to your device. In addition, since we didn’t obscure the communication with the Xbee in any way (we use serial for passing the data back and forth), our dongle in theory could also be used in other projects.

 

Flow Diagram

The Arduino SDK

 

We are proud to say that we underwent a major refactoring of our Arduino SDK. Although it slightly pushed our schedule back, we’ve optimized the code and so now you can easily interact with virtually any sensor, actuator, etc. You can check out the latest documentation for version 0.3 at developers.nvdrones.com. We believe it’s a truly easy-to-use, robust, and flexible SDK for developers to enjoy. Additional SDK’s are also on its way, so stay tuned.

 

Pre-Order for 20% Off

 

We are also excited to announce our pre-order store. This means that we are getting closer to full release where our early adopters can get their hands dirty with our platform and technology. Shipping in July!

 

Order now and get 20% off retail of $199. This equates to a $159 price tag.

 

Maker Faire

 

Last but not least, we will have a booth at Maker Faire between the 15th and 17th of May. If you are planning on attending, please stop by to say "hi" at Booth #5623!

 

We are going to have 3 stations where you will be able to test our SDKs live on actual hardware and drones.

 

We will have a set of drones where attendees can easily control:

 

- Servos,

- Gimbal,

- Sonars,

- LEDs,

- Integrate thermometer data

 

Please join us and feel free to spread the word around the Internets :) Happy flying!

Views: 1998

Comment by Chuck Durham on May 15, 2015 at 10:39am

I pre-ordered, looking forward to working with this.  If I wasn't on the other side of the Country I would come to the MakerFaire - good luck out there

Comment by Pascal P. on May 15, 2015 at 1:19pm

nice concept, you have some application samples ?

Comment by Damian McKay Earl ll on May 15, 2015 at 4:05pm

pretty cool. Wish I could go!

Comment by Nicolas Saugnier on May 15, 2015 at 4:21pm

It would not hurt to move the traces and ground plane a little further way from the antenna zone. Doesn't cost anything, and could help to get an ever-so-slightly better radiation pattern.

Comment by Marty on May 15, 2015 at 4:22pm

pre-order link?

Comment by Marty on May 15, 2015 at 4:23pm
Comment by NVdrones on May 15, 2015 at 5:45pm

@Chuck: Thanks for the kind wishes! You've been a supporter from the very beginning and we really appreciate it :)

@Pascal: We constructed everything with simplicity and flexibility in mind, so the sky is limit! Companies looking to implement our solution range from cinematography, delivery, entertainment, to swarms. 

@Nicolas: Thank you for the suggestion. We'll keep this in mind moving forward into production. 

@Marty: Glad to see you found the pre-order link and thanks for sharing. If you have any questions feel free to let us know!

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