All Blog Posts (13,006)


3D Robotics
Pict'Earth invents the french fry UAV!

Last week I had a great chat with the guys running the US operations of Pict'Earth. The company was originally started by a team in France who created their own UAV and real-time Google Earth integration. To get a sense of how cool that is, check out this video:









That was based on a custom UAV that cost around $10,000. The US team is targeting cheaper applications. First, the… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on July 16, 2007 at 10:03am — No Comments


3D Robotics
Building a real Predator UAV

IMG_4185

Here's a semi-scale Predator. Pretty cool, but it's an ARF so I can't do too much bragging. I just modded an inexpensive ($80) Nitro Models kit with a AXI 2208 brushless motor and added some proper landing gear and

an airscoop to cool the motor in the back. (BTW, Nitro sells two Predators. Get

this one, not the similar…

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Added by Chris Anderson on July 16, 2007 at 12:27am — 22 Comments


3D Robotics
UAV use surging in Iraq, led by micros

From Army Times:

WASHINGTON — The use of unmanned aircraft in Iraq has surged by nearly one-third since the buildup of U.S. forces began early this year, and drones are now racking up more than 14,000 hours a month in the battlefield skies.

The increase in unmanned aircraft — from high-altitude Global Hawks to short-range…

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Added by Chris Anderson on July 10, 2007 at 5:07am — No Comments


3D Robotics
Progress on the Basic Stamp autopilot

There's nothing like a big project for a crash course in a new technology. After choosing the Basic Stamp platform for the embedded processor version of the autopilot, I've now learned the hard way about the complexities and limitations of embedded processors. They're not insurmountable, but they're important to…

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Added by Chris Anderson on July 9, 2007 at 1:15am — 2 Comments


3D Robotics
Lego GPS code working!

Great news on the Lego UAV front. Ralph Hempel, who has been helping me on adding GPS waypoints and navigation to my Mindstorms Autopilot, has cracked the tricky bluetooth integration code problem. Just the review the challenge, it appeared that the easiest way to connect the Mindstorms NXT CPU with a GPS

receiver is via its bluetooth interface. But the native NXT bluetooth stack and

API is very limited, and we couldn't find a good way…

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Added by Chris Anderson on July 5, 2007 at 9:33am — No Comments

Interesting site

Hello everyone, I have just found this site and looked at a few of the pages. I have wanted to get into the small uav type aircraft so this site is just what I have been looking for. I have just purchased a Hobbico NexStar but have not yet made the first flight, except on the simulator. This is the gas powered version and is slightly larger the the ElectriStar being used here. I have looked at the huge open bay where the RC system is and I know there is a lot of room to install more stuff.…

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Added by Frank Cates on June 29, 2007 at 4:53pm — No Comments


3D Robotics
Attempt at a 100,000 ft UAV flight

From the MAKE blog:

Here is a link to pictures of an attempt by a group of Calpoly engineers to have a UAV glider bring back pictures from 100,000 feet. After some sleepless nights and an overwhelming amount of work on hardware and software we launched a glider in California Valley. The…
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Added by Chris Anderson on June 26, 2007 at 3:45am — 1 Comment


3D Robotics
Update 6/17

Flew the Lego Autopilot UAV and the cellphone autopilot UAV (sans cellphone) on Sunday to test some new stabilization calibration. Again, if the definition of a successful test is useful data and no crashing, this was a success, but it was a little tense at times. Lessons from these flights:



1) The Lego autopilot suffered a mechanical malfunction. One of the gear linkages came off in midair, freezing the autopilot in the "on" position. This meant that I had to fight a hard-left rudder… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on June 18, 2007 at 10:49pm — No Comments


3D Robotics
UAV Resources

Other UAV communities:
* List here



Commerical UAVs:



* Boomerang UAV (with AttoPilot) ($15,500 foam wing)

* Procerus Kestrel ($10k foam flying wing)

*… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on June 16, 2007 at 8:30am — 2 Comments


3D Robotics
GeoCrawler 4 (Predator airframe and AttoPilot autopilot)

Description: This UAV is not functionally very different from GeoCrawler 4, with its off-the-shelf Picopilot GPS-guided autopilot, but it's so much cooler! If you're going to build a UAV, why not make it look like a UAV? And… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on June 16, 2007 at 7:30am — 12 Comments


3D Robotics
Armed forces now has 3,200 UAVs, most of them under 10 lbs

From Wired's Danger Room blog:

Raven_uav "The number of flying robots in the American armed forces' arsenal has gone up by nearly 1400% in four years, military documents show. A relatively-modest unmanned fleet of 217 machines has grown into a 3211-drone…

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Added by Chris Anderson on June 13, 2007 at 8:02pm — No Comments


3D Robotics
GeoCrawler 3 (BASIC Stamp autopilot)

Viking1

Description: This UAV is intended mostly as an education platform to teach you the basics of microprocessors, embedded system programming and autopilot design. It will fly, but it's not designed to be a real production UAV. That said, it demonstrates the…

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Added by Chris Anderson on June 12, 2007 at 11:00pm — 3 Comments


3D Robotics
GeoCrawler 2 (Cellphone autopilot)

Description: This platform was inspired by the realization that almost all the hardware you need for a functioning UAV is contained in the high-end cellphone in your…

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Added by Chris Anderson on June 12, 2007 at 11:00pm — 34 Comments


3D Robotics
GeoCrawler 1 (Lego Autopilot) Instructions



[NOTE: This post describes the original version of the Lego Mindstorms autopilot, which is a navigation-only (rudder and GPS) autopilot. Since then, we have created a full navigation-and-stabilization (aileron and elevator and GPS) autopilot. However, since it uses prototype hardware that is not yet commercially available, I'm not posting full building… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on June 12, 2007 at 11:00pm — 32 Comments


3D Robotics
Update--6/11

  1. I've updated the GeoCrawler 2 (Lego UAV) instruction page. It now has a list of steps and parts necessary to complete the compass-sensor version of the UAV. The GPS version software is still in development. That should be ready later this summer.
  2. I've switched GeoCrawler 1 (Picopilot UAV) to a more appropriate airframe.…
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Added by Chris Anderson on June 11, 2007 at 3:27pm — No Comments


3D Robotics
Lego Autopilot first flight

My kids and I actually had the first successful test flight of the sub-$1,000 UAV two weekends ago, but I haven't had time to edit the video properly until now. The good news is that a) it didn't crash, and b) it works. We tested stabilization, autonomous navigation (only using compass headings this time, although GPS is in the works), and the real-time video downlink. Everything worked well enough that we're able to see what we have to improve, which is the definition of a successful…

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Added by Chris Anderson on May 28, 2007 at 8:25am — No Comments


3D Robotics
First test flight

May 13th, first test flight of both the Lego UAV and the stealth "minimum" UAV at Alameda Naval Air Station. Video coming soon.

'

Subsytems tested:



--Flight stabilization: Worked. a little rocking, but nothing too serious

--Autopilot: Sort of worked. Rudder throw needs to be increased. Heading change induced expected counter force by stabalization, which increased rocking. As a result the turning was very gradual. That needs to… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on May 15, 2007 at 10:32pm — No Comments


3D Robotics
GeoCrawler 4 (Picopilot off-the-shelf autopilot)

Hla114

Description: This UAV, which uses an off-the-shelf autopilot, is the reference platform against which we benchmark the more innovative (and cheaper) custom UAVs that are our main focus at DIY Drones.

The video system listed below, which streams realtime video via a 2.4 GhZ wireless…

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Added by Chris Anderson on May 12, 2007 at 11:00pm — 6 Comments

Hacked E-mails Fuel Climate Change Skeptics

Hundreds of private e-mails and documents hacked from a computer server at a British university are causing a stir among global warming skeptics, who say they show that climate scientists conspired to overstate the case for a human influence on climate change.



The e-mails, attributed to prominent American and British climate researchers, include discussions of scientific data and whether it should be released, exchanges about how best to combat the arguments of skeptics, and casual… Continue

Added by Dmitry on November 30, 1999 at 1:00pm — 4 Comments

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