Dr Stephen Prior
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About Me:
Reader in Autonomous Robotic Systems at The University of Southampton and the project leader for the i-Spy UK MoD's Grand Challenge 2008 team. Recently team leader for the HALO team, winner of the DARPA UAVForge competition 2012.

Interested in all things robotic - UUV, UGV, UAV
Please tell us a bit about your UAV interest
London, UK

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Dr Stephen Prior's Blog

New book release: Optimizing Small Multi-Rotor Unmanned Aircraft: A Practical Design Guide

Posted on October 6, 2018 at 3:30am 3 Comments

A summary of ten year's research in the area of Drone Design and Development. Written as a design guide to inform and educate future generations of Aeronautic Engineers, RC Enthusiasts and DIY citizen scientists:…


Civilian Drones - BBC Radio 4 Broadcast.

Posted on September 1, 2013 at 6:00am 1 Comment

Civilian Drones

30 minutes
First broadcast:…

Heineken Robot - The Official Video

Posted on March 7, 2010 at 12:59pm 0 Comments


The revision to the Heineken Robot is now complete and the new system can be seen on YouTube:




Comment Wall (6 comments)

At 1:35pm on January 11, 2010, Mike Bakula said…
I'm not aware of any documentation on spinning these sensors -- we just tested them with a spinning rig. (Due to time constraints, the testing was never written up, sigh) We started with this app note from Sharp;


Dave Cook also has a handy writeup on the electrical issues for using the Sharp sensors;


As I remember, our rig was just a small platform attached to a motor & speed control. The Sharp sensor, a battery and a magnetometer were hooked up to an Arduino pro Mini and a 2.4 Ghz Xbee for telemetry. We used the magnetometer interrupt for our tach, as we were already doing that for the monocopter configuration.

We were testing against flat surfaces (painted sheetrock and stretched Tyvek sheets.) The behavior we saw was that as the rate exceeded 500 RPM, the ranges would noticeably average against the wall (reading short as the angle approached perpendicular, then long as the angle departed perpendicular.) At about 600, the IR spot was apparently moving too fast across the PSD, and the sensor would return max range, with occasional readings if it read right at the perpendicular.

We were using the Arduino's analog to digital conversion, so we were reading well below the sensor's bandwidth (reported in the hobby community to be around 25 KHz), and we made no effort to identify whether a dedicated A to D chip would improve performance.

Hope this helps with your project,

-- Mike
At 6:06am on January 13, 2010, Dr Stephen Prior said…

That's excellent, thanks very much! When I get into the office I'll send you a good resource for these sensors.

Talk more later.

At 2:41pm on February 13, 2010, Dr Stephen Prior said…

Sorry got waylaid with a million other things, here it is:


At 5:24am on February 19, 2010, Franco Lubinsky said…
I love it!!!!! So the obvious question is what do I do with the multiple empties that I have collected? I will pass along that the containers are pretty stout. It took quite a bit of effort to drill a hole into the top of one. It was filled with water then a nut/screw & washer arrangement re-sealed it. We did this to several and used them for target practice, shooting them with my Deer rifle. That has been the best use I have come up with so far, but the door is open.

At 7:16am on February 19, 2010, Dr Stephen Prior said…
Nice idea!
At 11:17pm on June 3, 2013, dusl said…


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