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.
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.”
I am glad to publish the following release by SPH Engineering. Click on the image below to visit their web site:
Also check out this video, in which the software is used together with 3D Robotics multirotors:
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.
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→
KK2 boards from Hobbyking are a great and inexpensive solution as flight controllers for all sorts of multirotors. In particular in the latest versions, such as the KK2.1.5, they really fly great and stable. One of the main advantages of these boards is that they have an embedded LCD screen that displays configuration settings in an easy to navigate menu, with clearly laid out options that you can navigate and change with the 4 little black buttons at the bottom of the board. Therefore, connection to a PC is not required for configuration and adjustments (for example gains adjustments), making setup and tuning quite handy even directly in the field.
I often get questions about KK2 board firmware upgrades. How do I update the KK2 board software to the latest version? Does this require superior programming and informatics skills? Well, the answer is yes it does. You don’t have to worry though, just send yours over and I will upgrade it for you for a miserable 100$. The very latest, coolest firmware, I promise. Or, keep on reading. Continue reading Hobbyking’s KK2 / KK2.1 / KK2.1.5 board firmware update/upgrade: how to→
During a planned video session aimed at capturing the “Duomo di Treviso”, the big multirotor starts to drift slowly in a random direction. The pilot, apparently unable to control it through the radio link anymore, likely for a radio interference, first tries to control it manually, but then the situation gets out of control.
Here you go with the video:
Damages to the drone are estimated at 10.000 euros, while damages to the bar external premises are in the order of 4000 euros.
I recently attended the RomaDrone Expo in Rome, Italy and would like to share some of the models exposed. The expo was very much oriented at the professional market. Models were mainly big multirotors with high payloads, to lift DSLR cameras, and some “wings” models for mapping. This is not a comprehensive overview, just some models that attracted my attention.
Click on the pictures to see the full size versions.
In part 1 of this build and review article I have been looking at the general features of the Quadlugs multirotor modular system and some preparation steps required before the actual frame assembly, namely the drilling of holes in some of the lugs.
2. Quadlugs quadcopter frame assembly
Before we actually assemble the frame, we have adapt the bottom plate, which is slightly larger than possibly needed.
The original size of the provided bottom plate is 17,9 x 10,1 cm (and 3 mm thick):
I have received a nice USPS box from Danny, funder of the Quadlugs multirotor modular system and started a build with the main purpose of testing this original piece of technological equipment for strengths and weaknesses, report to our blog readers and providing a build blueprint for others that might want to built their own Quadlugs based multi rotor.
According to this article on Franceinfo, a young french entrepreneur, 18 yr old Thomas Nans, is being prosecuted for “endangering other people lives” after taking an aerial video of the city of Nancy with one of his multirotors.
Here’s the video, great stuff:
Thomas Nans was called to appear in Nancy court for this accusation.
The Black Knight Transformer seems to come right out of a science fiction movie. Those scenarios of cities from the future filled with flying vehicles might be a step closer.
See the Black Knight in action in this video on youtube:
And the official press release:
EL SEGUNDO, California, 8 January 2014 – Advanced Tactics Inc., a small aerospace company, released details about its AT Transformer vehicle technology and announced that a full-scale technology demonstrator has completed its first driving tests.