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Your Own Personal Drone
Old 12-11-2011, 09:00 AM   #1
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Your Own Personal Drone

Seriously, for $300 I think. Can be flown indoors or out, has on board cameras (which you can record as videos), controlled by your iPhone, iPad, iPod or PC. You have to watch the video to appreciate what a cool gadget this is.

AR.Drone Parrot - First quadricopter that can be controlled by an iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad and Android

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Old 12-11-2011, 09:10 AM   #2
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That's pretty amazing. I wonder if I could make it open the refrigerator and get me a beer. There's got to be a bottle opener on the bottom of that thing!
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Old 12-11-2011, 09:13 AM   #3
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cool! I am not sure what I would use one for other than playtime.
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Old 12-11-2011, 09:15 PM   #4
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I remember reading about the French entrepreneur behind this drone in a magazine. So, I took the time to search for it, and found that article here.

Henri Seydoux’s Not-Just-a-Toy Hovercraft - Businessweek

This is of course just a toy, but it incorporates many technological advances that were not available a few years ago for any price. Those include such things as micro-miniature inertial sensors to sense the craft motion, whose outputs are fed to small and fast microcontrollers to automatically stabilize the craft. Without a built-in autopilot for stabilization, this device could not be flown by hand. Modern battery technology also allows this light a craft to be possible.

What is also amazing is that it can be sold retail for $300.

Here's an autonomous quad rotor with amazing agility developed at U Penn. This one is autonomous because no human pilot can react as fast as the built-in autopilot.

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Old 12-11-2011, 09:16 PM   #5
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The drone is amazing. I saw it mentioned yesterday on Fox News as part of a "cool gifts for a teen" segment. Also saw a iphone/ipad controlled night vision enabled mini tank that kids drive remotely through the house spying on their siblings. Cool too, but I'd like the drone
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Old 12-11-2011, 10:19 PM   #6
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Here's one that's homemade. Radio controlled.

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Old 12-11-2011, 10:28 PM   #7
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Cool!

Yaw stabilization? Any other axis stabilized? What battery and how long the endurance? Payload? Video camera?
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Old 12-11-2011, 10:44 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
Cool!

Yaw stabilization? Any other axis stabilized? What battery and how long the endurance? Payload? Video camera?
My son built and flies it. I don't know too many of the particulars. I'm sure it has gyros. It carries the small camera in the pic. It's very stable. There's something tricky in the build as far as matching lengths of the booms to the prop size and pitch from what I hear. The small one is also rigged for what's called FPV if you're familiar with that. He's working on a larger one now that will carry a full size DSLR.

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Old 12-12-2011, 05:36 PM   #9
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On sale at Amazon for $255 for one more hour as part of their lightning deals.
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Old 12-12-2011, 11:54 PM   #10
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Here's another video from the lab of U Penn. Being a geek, I find this stuff very interesting mainly because I appreciate the complexity of the work involved.

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Old 12-13-2011, 12:26 AM   #11
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...There's something tricky in the build as far as matching lengths of the booms to the prop size and pitch from what I hear...
Sure. A graduate engineering student could spend some time to develop the equations of motion for the craft, taking into account all those physical parameters, including the motor dynamics. He would then design an autopilot, basically a closed-loop controller, to provide stabilization as the minimum, then expand the control laws to provide more autonomous motion. More sensors would then be needed to provide navigation and guidance.

It is certainly possible to experiment, or use past experience to come up with a workable initial design, but to get to the level of autonomy achieved by the U Penn experiment takes some serious number crunching.
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Old 12-13-2011, 12:35 PM   #12
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I say they're UFOs, as you can plainly see:

Video: UFO filmed hovering over Russian protesters | The Sideshow - Yahoo! News
Quote:
Some 25,000 Pro-democracy protesters in Moscow's Boloynaya Square had an unexpected participant in their demonstrations on Saturday when a UFO was spotted hovering above the crowd.
Here is a somewhat blurry video capture of the scene, taken by a person in the crowd:
Several demonstrators in the crowd espied the hovering object, with reflecting blue and red lights. Descriptions of the object--which observers say was definitely not a helicopter--included "five extended tendrils or pylons emanating from the body of the vehicle."
But just because it was a UFO, doesn't mean it was extraterrestrial.
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