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3D Robotics News

Drones at the Robot Film Festival: IRIS Wins a Botsker!

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This weekend, 3DR and the filmmakers behind the movie Sugar Mountain screened a short film at the Robot Film Festival in San Francisco, and took home the award for “Best Telepresence”—i.e., “seen through the eyes of robots”! (Watch the winning film here, or at the end of this post.)

The Botsker-winning short, Robots in Alaska: The Making of Sugar Mountain, features astonishing aerials of a team of Australian adventure skiers on the glacial slopes of the Chugach, in a remote corner of Alaska. The aerials were provided by a pair of Irises, nicknamed Bert and Ernie, which 3DR’s Brandon Basso gave the Aussies, along with a few hours of training, before the crew headed north. The team had to learn everything else on the job, which involved skiing up to 20 miles a day, packing and unpacking, flying, moving, and repeating it all again–not to mention figuring out how to keep batteries warm and solder replacement motors in -20 F temperatures.

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Cinematographer Danny Coolahan gave a talk about the experience at this year’s DroneCon, explaining how all their gear broke eventually in that forbidding environment, even his $10,000 camera—but he couldn’t repair that camera the same way he could easily repair Iris. Said Basso, “That fact alone is a huge testament to all the sweat that went into designing and producing the aircraft. It’s sometimes all too easy to forget that these things ‘just work’ today because of literally years of software development on one of the best-supported open source robotics projects ever.”

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The winning film is a witty “making-of” short in anticipation of the crew’s feature film, Sugar Mountain, coming this November. Filmed over the course of a month around a remote fly-in glacier camp near the Arctic Circle, Sugar Mountain is the story of a team of city folk from Australia on a quest to climb and ride Alaska’s Sugar Mountain—a mythical peak that may or may not exist beyond the dreams of the crew themselves. Showcasing 3DR’s world-first drone technology, the film is inspiring both cinematically and personally, the glittering Alaskan slopes standing for the ambition, fear, and adventure of any passion pursuit.

Thanks to everyone from the crew, 3DR, and Helly Hansen apparel who helped make this ambitious vision a reality! Enjoy the movie!


To learn more about Sugar Mountain click here.

SparkFun AVC Video!

3DR’s creative team put this video together to capture the spirit of the 2014 SparkFun Autonomous Vehicle Competition, held this year at the Boulder Reservoir in Boulder, Colorado. This year was different in that, besides being bigger and better than ever, for the first time SparkFun opened the AVC to an unlimited number of entrants—“If you can build it, you can bring it” was the mantra. That incantation conjured forth a huge range of participants: 1,300 people, some as young as 12 and 13, came out to the Boulder Reservoir, where over 90 teams from around the world competed!

The record attendance offered yet more proof of the enormous cultural pivot that drone technology is making. And while the draw to AVC is ostensibly the fun of competition between the teams, there was a sense that the real goal is extrinsic: “The contestants all gathered at their wooden workbenches under this big-top tent,” said 3DR’s Lon Breedlove. “I overheard one of them, he’d busted a motor at the last minute and needed a new one. And his neighbor, who was just about to compete against him, reached into his bag and gave him one!”

Big thanks to SparkFun for making this happen every year! To learn more, visit https://avc.sparkfun.com

Introducing DroneCon.org!

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DroneCon 2014 was an incredible event! From the presentations to the sharing of ideas and feeling all the encouragement, energy, and support that ripple throughout our extraordinary global community, it was a success in every regard.

So today, we’re excited to announce the release of www.dronecon.org, your home for all things Con!

For the uninitiated, the primary goal of DroneCon is to bring together developers, participants, hackers, academics, and makers from the DIY Drones, 3D Robotics, and Ardupilot communities, and to offer your chance to hear the lead developers discuss their work over the past year in open source autonomous vehicles. On the new site we’ll be posting videos of this year’s talks, so that those of you who couldn’t make it can still access the material, and those who attended can revisit it. You can also check out the bios and the abstracts from all of our presenters, and stay in the loop as DroneCon 2015 takes shape. Yes, we’re already thinking of next year!

Once again, thanks to all the attendees and contributors who made this year’s event so memorable! And if you couldn’t make it this year, we look forward to seeing you in 2015 — but for now, enjoy the site!

Temporary Delay on International Orders

We’re temporarily experiencing processing delays of 1-2 days on international shipments. We appreciate your patience while we comply with new regulations. If you have any questions, please contact us at help@3drobotics.com.

3D Robotics Resumes International Shipments to 44 Countries!

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We’re thrilled to announce that, as of today, 3D Robotics will be resuming exports of our autopilots and RTF vehicles to 44 countries! Those countries are:

Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

If you’re located in one of these countries, you’ll be able to order these items from us beginning immediately. This applies to both our regular customers and our dealers. Dealers and other resellers, however, should be aware that these items are being exported using license exception STA, which requires somewhat special handling both for us and for you. We’ll be in contact with all of our distributors and prospective distributors about the details of this arrangement.

As many of you know, we’ve already resumed shipping many items to all countries, including cables, hardware, batteries, fiber plates, motors, and various other items. And if your country isn’t among the 44 listed above, please be assured that we’re moving as quickly as possible to expand exports to all international locations.

Thanks to all of you for your continued support as we work through this process! And once more, happy flying!

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