Category Archives: Multirotors Research

A drone that flies (almost) like a bird

A drone developed by the Dario Floreano’s team in the Laboratory of Intelligent systems in the EPLF (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) in Switzerland is geared toward flying more like a bird than like small helicopters, as most available multirotors currently do.

This should allow a much greater tolerance to challenging environmental flight conditions.

For more information check full story on the EPFL website here and the video below.

Stay tuned on the Personal Drones Blog for the latest quadcopter and multirotor news!

Tech startup Makeblock releases Airblock, a Modular Drone that Transforms Into a Hovercraft

Tech startup Makeblock releases Airblock, a Modular Drone that Transforms Into a Hovercraft

SAN FRANCISCO — November 2, 2016 — Shenzhen-based robotics startup Makeblock released the new Airblock, a modular six-axis drone that transforms into various flying configurations, including hexacopter and hovercraft. Airblock combines the best of building blocks with flight physics and engineering to make each flying experience unique.

Airblock, a modular and programmable Drone
Airblock, a modular and programmable Drone

Airblock consists of magnetic, modular parts that are easy to assemble and disassemble without tools. Included in each set are a control core, a hovercraft base, six blade modules, six spare blades, ten blade shields, one wall charger, one lithium-ion rechargeable battery and one USB cable.

The central processor, motors and rotors are all enclosed in a soft foam frame that is durable and strong. Its pieces snap together using magnetic connectors. The large styrofoam base can be configured with the aforementioned pieces to construct a hovercraft that zips over water or smooth terrain. Continue reading Tech startup Makeblock releases Airblock, a Modular Drone that Transforms Into a Hovercraft

MicroPilot-lead Consortium labelled by ITEA

I am glad to publish the following press release by MicroPilot

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Excerpt :

HI-RISE – 15009
High Integrity RPAS by Innovative Software Engineering
Project Leader: MicroPilot (Canada)

To reach their full potential, Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), must operate over built up areas such as towns and cities where there are many high value tasks that a UAS can perform. Flying a UAS over built up areas is not currently possible due to perceived lack of safety. For this reason, there is a need for UAS that comply with recognized safety standards (e.g. DO-178C). HI-RISE is a framework within which UAS and innovative uses for a UAS can be developed taking into account safety regulations and standards.

logo-itea-transparent Continue reading MicroPilot-lead Consortium labelled by ITEA

Interesting video from BBSRC: Octocopter! Experimental drone for agricultural research

I am glad to share here this great video on an experimental Octocopter for agricultural research.

Credits to BBSRC, check out the original article by Arran Frood. Here’s a short excerpt:

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An advanced eight-rotor model dubbed the octocopter (see ‘Flight-al statistics’), has been put through its paces by researchers led by Andrew Riche of Rothamsted Research, an institute devoted to plant, soil and agricultural science that receives strategic funding from UK bioscience funders BBSRC.

octocopter-for-agricultural-research

Rothamsted is the site of the longest running field experiments in the world, where farm systems and inputs such as fertiliser, pesticides and crop growth have been running for more than a hundred years. In the 21st century, they want to see if drone surveillance can take much of the drudgery and footwork out of these large-scale experiments that span over 200 hectares of picturesque English countryside. As a demonstrator technology, the researchers are embarking on a rigorous programme of regularly recording experiments over five hectares (the size of seven football pitches) to see exactly what this airborne marvel is capable of.

“This year we have focused on monitoring crop height through the season and also crop maturity, says Riche. “Different wheat lines mature at different rates, and we regularly monitor this on the ground – this year we hope to have done it from the air.”

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Check out the full article here. All inquiries to Arran Frood, arran.frood@bbsrc.ac.uk

Stay tuned on the Personal Drones Blog for the latest quadcopter and multirotor news!

UgCS ground station software goes commercial

I am glad to publish the following release by SPH Engineering. Click on the image below to visit their web site:

UGCS web site
UGCS web site

Also check out this video, in which the software is used together with 3D Robotics multirotors:

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SPH Engineering is pleased to announce that UgCS is now out of Beta stage and is available for purchase.

Our work for nearly two years have resulted in UgCS version 2.1 Which now we have tested to be exceeding or having abilities at least on par with native mission planning software of supported vehicles.

UGCS ground station software
UGCS ground station software version 2.1

Currently we support vehicles equipped with following autopilots: MikroKopter, Ardupilot APM/Pixhawk, DJI Naza-M(Phantom 2)/Wookong-M/A2, ARDrone, Microdrones. Our skilled engineers can add support to additional autopilot by request in less than 3 months including field tests. Continue reading UgCS ground station software goes commercial

Chris Anderson launches the DoneCode Foundation

Here’s the welcome post by Chris Anderson that announces the birth of the Dronecode Foundation, in partnership with the Linux Foundation.

Chris Anderson, CEO of 3D Robotics
Chris Anderson, CEO of 3D Robotics

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Welcome to the Dronecode Project

I’m thrilled to announce our partnership with the Linux Foundation to create the new Dronecode Foundation, a non-profit organization that brings together the leading open source UAV software projects under the professional management and leadership of one of the world’s foremost open innovation organizations. Continue reading Chris Anderson launches the DoneCode Foundation

Third Person Driving with a Drone feels like driving in a videogame

Check out this very interesting video that features an experiment in which a car is driven by a pilot that views the car and street thanks to a video feed from a drone.

Driving a car "Third Person View", from an aerial perspective thanks to a live video feed from a drone
Driving a car “Third Person View”, from an aerial perspective thanks to a live video feed from a drone

It looks and feels very much like a video game.

The pilot is getting a live video feed from the drone thanks to FPV goggles
The pilot is getting a live video feed from the drone thanks to FPV goggles

Continue reading Third Person Driving with a Drone feels like driving in a videogame

Drone Mapping of Coral Reefs and the Coastal Zone in the Carribean

Nature.org has a great story by Steve Shill, a Senior Scientist for the Caribbean Program, developing methods, tools, and information products for countries seeking to identify high priority conservation areas based on biodiversity value and risk assessments.

The story focuses on his project, carried out with his students, aimed at mapping marine habitats with a self constructed drone, made just for this purpose.

Have a look at this beautiful little bird called “Henri”:

“Henri” is able to take off from and land in the water. Photo: © Tim Calver
Meet “Henri”. Henri is able to take off from and land in the water. Photo: © Tim Calver

“Weighing in at just under 5 pounds, “Henri” (named in honor of the king of Northern Haiti from the early nineteen century) has a tough, floatable KYDEX® frame equipped with a high-def GoPro camera, an GPS enabled-autopilot chip, and other navigation electronics tucked neatly inside an upside-down Tupperware container mounted on top that serves as a perfect waterproof housing.

Henri can be guided manually using remote control or via autonomous mode with a pre-programmed flight path.”

The "Henri" quadcopter drone flies over a red mangrove forest. Photo: © Tim Calver
The “Henri” quadcopter drone flies over a red mangrove forest. Photo: © Tim Calver

Continue reading Drone Mapping of Coral Reefs and the Coastal Zone in the Carribean

How to build a Mobee micro drone (not really easy to DIY)

Check out the construction process of the Harvard Monolithic Bee (Mobee), it’s fascinating.

A step in building a Mobee
A step in building a Mobee

Unfortunately not really something you can build at home. Nor can you buy it at a local shop. Oh well…

Harward's Mobee drone
Harward’s Mobee drone

“Such bee-sized flying robots have low material costs and could be made in large numbers, and their small size lets them maneuver in confined spaces, Fuller said. They could have a lot of applications in remote sensing and in search and rescue operations, and could also act as “robobees” in assisted agriculture, pollinating flowers and fighting pests, Fuller said.

The researchers are working in parallel on the many different technological advances required to make these fly-sized robots fully autonomous and wireless. For example, they are working on providing it with a lightweight onboard processor, and a small, high-energy power source so that it is no longer tethered by wires.

They are also working on making the vehicles faster to produce and more durable. At the moment, it takes several days to make each robotic fly, and each vehicle can only fly for a matter of minutes before it has to be discarded. “We’re talking five to ten years before some sort of commercialization,” Fuller said.” – Source

Here you go with the video: