Hackhawk II: An Arduino-compatible brushless flight controller

What could be more fun than hacking an RTF quadcopter to fly with your own custom firmware? How about hacking with your own DIY Arduino-compatible 32-bit flight controller?  This tutorial shows how I did it. Advantages of using this controller include: Access to the huge selection of Arduino-compatible add-on sensors (distance, optical flow, …) Use of the high-accuarcy SENtral Sensor Fusion IMU, freeing up computation cycles for other tasks. 3.3V signal levels, for adapter-free interfacing with Raspberry Pi and other single-board computers. What could be more fun than hacking an RTF quadcopter to fly with your own custom firmware? How about hacking with your own DIY Arduino-compatible 32-bit flight controller?  This […] Read More

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What is Reach RS+ and how to use it to achieve cm accuracy

    Our new video provides a simple overview of real-time kinematic (RTK), post-processed kinematic (PPK) and NTRIP. It also demonstrates how Reach RS+ can be used in the field for various applications.   Resources Check Emlid docs to learn more about real-time kinematic and Reach: How RTK works How PPK works Reach RS+ Quickstart Point Collection and Stakeout with Reach RS+ Reach RS+ is available in Emlid Online Store. You can also get Reach RS+ locally. Check the list of Emlid resellers on the dealer’s page.     Our new video provides a simple overview of real-time kinematic (RTK), post-processed kinematic (PPK) and NTRIP. It also demonstrates how Reach RS+ can be used in the field for various applications. […] Read More

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Just when you thought you’d seen it all: a big drone carrying a smaller drone carrying a hole digger

From IEEE Spektrum: The NIMBUS Lab at the University of Nebraska has been developing drones that have the unique ability to dig holes in the ground and then fill those holes with sensors. If this sounds like a complicated task, that’s because it is: The drone needs to be able to carry a portable digging system a useful distance, locate a diggable spot, land, verify that the spot it thought was diggable is in fact diggable, dig a hole and install the sensor, and then fly off again. At IROS late last year, folks from the NIMBUS Lab presented a paper detailing a rather burly quadcopter that could carry an auger with an embedded sensor and use it to place the sensor in the ground (you can see a video of this in action here). And at ISER a few weeks later, they presented another paper on how the drone can autonomously figure out whether it’s digging in a good spot or not. One of the biggest challenges to a system like this is that by the time you pack in the drilling rig and all the sensors and computers that the drone needs to operate autonomously, you’ll be lucky if the thing will manage to keep itself aloft for more than just a few minutes. This is not particularly useful, since the whole point is to send the drone out to place sensors in areas that you can’t easily get to yourself. What’s needed is a way of extending the drone’s

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Lightware SF11/C Laser Altimeter and [ultra] Bright Sun

Hi, In December we had a great chance to test the M600 Pro system with a terrain following module in sunny Peru! In general, SF11/C works perfectly. There was one annoying issue: under extremely bright sun over some surfaces it can miss readings for a long time. Fortunately, a solution was found quickly: during the trials we used improvised lens hood. .. from short distance: These altimeters are quite popular in the industry and among DIYers, so be warned if you use them to fly over very low altitudes. Now we use modified holder for standard lens hood for Nicon lenses, but any similar ones should work as well. I must say that Peru is a very interesting place in many ways. Especially the rich history of the Incas and earlier settlers, the ruins and other remains of their civilisation. As one of our hosts put it, “you can dig in any place in Peru and will probably unearth some ancient debris”. A lot of artefacts and skulls were lying just like that in the middle of the desert where we were testing our system.. Safe flights, Alexey Dobrovolskiy http://www.ugcs.com Hi, In December we had a great chance to test the M600 Pro system with a terrain following module in sunny Peru! In general, SF11/C works perfectly. There was one annoying issue: under extremely bright sun over some surfaces it can miss readings for a long time. Fortunately, a solution was found quickly: during t […] Read More

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Impressive multicopter wing hybrid

Finally, a novel wing rotor design which actually looks like it should fly.  It might only be the finished look instead of the usual carbon fiber rods & duct tape.  There’s obviously still a torque problem on the wings, as it approaches higher speed.  It seems like a safer & more scaleable way of attaching many rotors than having a web of them right next to the payload.  Getting in doesn’t require traversing a sea of propellers.  There’s less danger of a human passenger falling on a propeller.  But the wing is heavier than a nest of carbon fiber rods.   Finally, a novel wing rotor design which actually looks like it should fly.  It might only be the finished look instead of the usual carbon fiber rods & duct tape.  There’s obviously still a torque problem on the wings, as it approaches higher speed.  It seems like a safer & more scaleable way of attaching many rotors than […] Read More

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