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Sale of recreational drones banned in Abu Dhabi

Sale of recreational drones banned in Abu Dhabi
Anwar Ahmad ABU DHABI // Recreational drones have been banned from sale in Abu Dhabi because they pose a risk to aviation. The ban was announced on Wednesday by the Abu Dhabi Business Centre, an affiliate of the Department of…

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Drone prompts terror scare at Manhattan half-marathon

Drone prompts terror scare at Manhattan half-marathon
By Georgett Roberts A man flying a drone near the half-marathon finish line in lower Manhattan on Sunday set off a terrorism scare that sent cops scrambling by land, sea and air to investigate the mysterious aircraft, sources said. The unidentified…

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A Star Wars Speeder Bike Quadcopter Looks Perfect Racing Through Forests

A Star Wars Speeder Bike Quadcopter Looks Perfect Racing Through Forests
Andrew Liszewski Inspired by that wonderful scene in Return of the Jedi where Luke and Leia race through the trees of Endor using speeder bikes, there’s a small group of enthusiasts who do the same thing using camera-equipped remote control drones. Like Adam…

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VR Spark 350 will be presented at Embedded Linux Conference at Technical Showcase 24 March 2015

VR Spark 350 born after a year full of experiments, where we worked on improving electronic technologies, mechanical design, usability for end user and the possibility to be used for commercial purposes respecting regulation rules that govern the use of drones in the civil aviation world.

We implemented control systems and flight termination to ensure compliance with the Italian and French rules , now start to work on U.S to achieve high levels of safety and reliability. Current configuration with Brushless Gimbal , GoPro 4 and Parachute is 1.3 kg . It has a maximum take off weigh of 1.8 Kg. (3.4 pounds) to take advantage of the imminent FAA and European regulations that will enable smaller drones to fly in restricted areas.

We are currently undergoing experimentation to achieve Italian and French approval for commercial use, and plan to start selling in April.

We are searching partner that want support us for VR Spark Section 333 FAA certification.

for info contact me by skype my account is : virtualrobotix or at my email r.navoni@virtualrobotix.com I'll be present during ELC Technical Showcase in San Jose.

VR Spark 350 main applications are:

low budget filmography. safety and rescue. Video inspection  . Marketing (drones branded for promotion - delivery -) Automatic features as  follow me through VR platform Leash. (Action Sports) Photogrammetry. Training schools for professional pilots. Suitable for drones startups company and research projects (eg H2020).

Example of filmografy :

Example of our Flir based Thermal image sensor :

This multi role machine aims to enter as a protagonist in the business services using drones.
It has all the features to aspire to be the Italian answer to the Chinese DJI Phantom. The semplicity and portability of a DJI Phantom, but with so many more payload options and flexibility!

This is last Technical Specification: (Updated) 

Innovative Italian Design and special painting technology. 

Frame configuration : Multicopter Quad .

Propeller:  9x4.5 Option 10x4.5 

Motors:  980 KV

Time of flight 18 min.

Weight : 1.3 kg in full  configuration Gimbal , GoPro 4 Camera and Parachute .

Flight Control : VR Brain 5.2 PRO ( VR SPARK CUSTOMIZATION)

GPS : VR GPS 8 GNSS dual mode navigation system GPS / GLONASS. until 18 sat and HDOP < 1.5

Flight Termination System : VR Flight Stop PRO Power Cutoff + Parachute. 

Luca ... The Flight Stop work fine ? ... Opsss :) 

Radio Link:


Secondary: Flyght Stop : PPMSUM FRSKY D4R


FRSKY S.PORT (Telemetry information available on Taranis display LUA Script customizable ) .

VR Link 868 / 915 (Mavlink telemetry module)

VR OSD - option -  ( Video overlay main telemetry information : attitude , GPS , Battery)

FPV Functionality :  CCD camera integrated in the drone . 5.8 Ghz Video TX . Video Switch between the FPV Camera and GoPro 4 . Voltage and Hall effect Current sensor integrated on distribution board.

Standard Payload 2 Axis Brushless Gimbal + GoPro 4 Hero Black.

PAYLOAD Option Max Weight ( 500 gr)

Battery 3S 4000 Mah.

Special Drone Code 1st Meeting version support on board RaspberryPi . 


It is thanks to the work of a large community made up of people with great competence, passion and technological skill that this project has seen the light.

Thanks to Virtualrobotix and the APM:Copter DEV team which has done an excellent job bringing this platform to high levels that was, in its infancy, within the reach of only a few experts.

Now after extensive work on the simplification and usability, so many more professionals can enjoy the flexibility and power of this platform.

for info contact : info@virtualrobotix.com 

original blog post with update : http://www.virtualrobotix.com/profiles/blogs/vr-spark-350-will-be-presented-at-embedded-linux-conference-at-te

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For Those Who Like Simple

I bought a 3DR radio from Whitespy to add telemetry to my MultiWii and it works like it should.  Multiwii has a processing program called multiwiiconf that is used to make changes to the PID's and for selecting flight modes and reading and writing to EEPROM.  There is also a slick GUI that adds a few more functions like a moving map.  I've tried both and the "slick" wingui program really uses a lot of memory and processor which my computer can't spare or tolerate without catching on fire.  That was my motivation for seeing what I could do to add a realtime map to the not so resource intense processing multiwiiconf program.  This was easier than I expected.  I searched for mapping programs and libraries already written for processing and found the modestmaps library. https://github.com/modestmaps/modestmaps-processing 

I familiarized myself with the example and armed with the "//" and "/* */", I opened up the source code for multiwiiconf.  My approach was to go through and comment out all the parts that pertained to PID's and graphs.  Generally, I commented out anything that I thought was not related to drawing an attitude indicator, compass or reading the multiwii serial protocol.  I periodically ran the sketch to see what disappeared or if I was too zealous with the comment //'s.  When the only things remaining were the instruments and the com port connection buttons, I added the modestmaps library and minimal code to display a map.  I replaced mouseX and mouseY with GPS_Latitude and GPS_Longitude, and divided those variables by 10000000f to convert to decimal.  That little "f" made a big difference, btw.  Without that I was 30 miles away because of loss of few decimal places.  I also added the little green dot to show current position.  This too came from the modestmaps example. 

I'm telling anyone how to do it instead of posting code, since it's very simple and my code tends to appeal like a dose of clamidia.  One last howto is to make sure to make the same edits in the processing sketch and the java file.  If it's done the way I did it, it should work and look like this.  As the position changes, the map moves with the little green position dot always in the center.    It's not fancy, but it uses about 20% of my CPU instead of 100%. 


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