Drone Airspace ABCs

Situational awareness is key to safe and successful flights On June 30, 1956, the first major midair collision in our nation’s history occurred over Grand Canyon National Park. On a clear day, a TWA Super Constellation and a United Airlines DC-7 collided in uncontrolled airspace, causing 128 fatalities. The deadliest U.S. commercial-airline disaster ever, this accident prompted Congress to pass the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 and create the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA is the national aviation authority responsible for regulating all aircraft operations and allocating the use of airspace within the United States. (As a reminder, drones are legally defined as aircraft, and their operation is subject to regulation by the FAA.) The National Airspace System (NAS) includes all the airspace, navigation facilities, and airports …

Making the World a Little Greener by Getting Your Hands Dirty

For those of us who want to make an impact on the world that we live in, it’s difficult to know where to start. Recycling and reducing your waste is always a great start. While it seems like a Sisyphean effort at times, it’s well worth the effort to know that you’re having an impact on the world that you live on. If everyone just took a little more time out of their day to do so, the world would be a lot better for it. Recycling doesn’t have to just mean separating your paper and glass from your other waste, it can go a good deal deeper than that. Turning something old and otherwise unwanted or unusable into something functional and beautiful can be an excellent …

New! Online Training on Drones for Disaster Response

We’ve given this professional training to dozens of international and national disaster management organizations during the past half-decade. We’ve also run this training for both new and highly experienced drone pilots in dozens of countries around the world. The purpose of this training is to make you an effective and responsible team leader when deploying drones in disaster response. This training is also a great fit if you’re simply curious to learn more about the latest on the use of drones in humanitarian efforts. Participants who successfully complete this self-paced training will receive an official certificate signed by WeRobotics, Direct Relief, MIT and UPenn.  In short, we’ve been running professional trainings on the use of drones for disaster response for as long as we’ve been…

Fighter Hand launch fixed wing

The fighter is a fixed-wing flight platform , which is easy to carry,friendly to operate,stable and durable.The fighter is positioned as a heavy-duty,long-endurance fixed wing,which greatly reduces the difficulty of aerial survey,further liberates productivity and improves the efficiency of aerial survey The modular design concept makes the aircraft easy and fast to assemble.The wings,folding arms and tail fins can be easily dismantled, making the aircraft practical and portable and user-friendly.The open flight control cabin is compatible with Pixhawk flight control and supports mounting of Sony A7R2 4200W pixel full-frame camera /1.5kg lightweight lidar. The maximum support is 12s@22000mah lithium polymer battery,which can achieve ultra-long range and high-quality shooting effect…

UAVCAN v1.0 is here

Greetings. This is a cross-post from the ArduPilot blog. UAVCAN was first announced six years ago, in early 2014, as an RFC doc published on this website. Over the following few years, it saw adoption in numerous systems – mostly UAV, naturally, but also including spacecraft, micromobility vehicles, and even racing cars. The vast empirical data collected from fielded systems over the years allowed us to identify the weak points in the design and eventually enabled us to come up with the rectified, field-proven stable design which we call UAVCAN v1.0. The stable version was first announced about 18 months ago. Expectedly, the fact that v1.0 breaks wire compatibility with the original design based on that first RFC caused concern among the adopters. The resistance is understandable …

200 meters in the bright African sun

LightWare is delighted to launch our new long range microLiDAR™. The SF30/D is ideal for altitude management above 400 feet. Each SF30/D is range tested in the bright African sun to ensure super performance in the hands of our customers. The SF30/D laser measurement sensor provides real time, accurate altitude (AGL) measurements for UAVs. The lightweight 36 gram design features a time-of-flight range up to 200 meters (656 feet), and an update rate up to 20K readings per second. Typical applications: The SF30/D is ArduPilot compatible, and laser Class 1M eye safe.  Now in stock: LightWare SF30/D

Top Ways to Stay Motivated While Working from Home

Here are 3 ways to help stay motivated while working remotely.  It’s easy to get distracted when working from home. One minute you’re steadily working and the next minute you’re scrolling on your phone or chasing after the kids. It can be a challenge to work from home, but it’s not impossible to stay productive when telecommuting. Read on to find the top ways to stay motivated while working from home. Make A Routine Creating a routine and sticking into it is one of the best ways to stay motivated and productive while working from home. Helping your body’s internal clock by waking up and going to sleep at the same time every day can boost your energy levels at the start of …

New Funko Pop Figurine Proceeds to Benefit Australian Bush Fire Victims

Since September 2019, heavy bush fires have consumed much of the Australian landscape. The fires, now mostly contained, thanks to heavy rains across the country, have destroyed upwards of 10,000,000 acres.  Additionally, more than 1 billion of the region’s wildlife population have perished due to these fires. 33 human lives have also been lost. American toy maker Funko, seeing the dire situation, came forward in support of the country and it’s cleanup efforts. Funko is releasing a limited-edition Funko pop figurine for Australian firefighters. The toy, named, Bush Fire Heroes features the Koala, whose habitat has been nearly completely destroyed. The brand, Funko is joining forces with a series of animal protection organizations.  A portion of each figurine’s proceeds of $19.99  will be donated to the Royal…

Definitive Guide to Setup Drone Delivery System

Commercial drones are now becoming a mainstream technology, with the 2020 pandemic serving as a showcase for how drones can save human lives. Drones have been used for delivery long before Amazon announced its Prime Air service. Founded in 2011, Zipline, a US-based company focused on medical drone deliveries became the pioneer in long-distance drone delivery, with distribution centers in Rwanda and Ghana. With an exponential growth since then, Zipline now delivers 65% of blood samples in Rwanda, particularly because the country lacks suitable road connectivity. Companies like Zipline are investing heavily not only in better drone hardware but also in remote operations software, so they can intelligently & centrally manage a large fleet of drones. How Does Drone Delivery Work? Drone delivery refers to the act …

Journaling for Your Mental Health Journey

How many people can say they journal frequently? Journaling can take stress off of your mind and body by releasing pent-up emotions in the form of free-writing.  Free writing is putting whatever words come to your mind directly onto the page. Whether it is feelings of inadequacy, frustration, sadness or even joy. Journaling, and more specifically free-writing should be done on a piece of paper, with a pen or pencil to actually release your feelings. Write without lifting the pen until you have the feelings you need to express on the paper.  This type of journaling doesn’t need to look pretty, or be legible. It is primarily to release feelings. Don’t let your conscious mind take over. This may sound strange. But…

MAVLink UDP Android Example

This app makes your phone behave like MAVLink vehicle. You can connect to it using QGroundControl over UDP. The device must be either connected to the same local network, have a Wi-Fi hotspot running or a public IP address. You can also try connecting to it while using VPN. Once connected, the phone starts emitting heartbeat and information about device’s attitude, location and battery. MAVLink UDP Android Example

Tony Robbins Celebrated 60th Birthday with Concert Benefiting Victims of sex Trafficking

World renowned leadership coach, Tony Robbins, celebrated a momentous 60th birthday in January with a benefit concert to profit the Underground Railroad Organization – an organization built on the back of Tim Ballard as a platform for anti-human sex trafficking. Tony, himself, has a celebrated career around his lifelong mission to benefit organizations that end human suffering. This benefit concert, hosted in the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, featured artists Leona Lewis, Pitbull, Melissa Etheridge, Andy Grammer, Derek Hough and the Cold War Kids. Tickets, while priced high between $5,000 and $125,000 were donated directly to the OUR organization. Every $1400 goes directly to assist in the rescue of one woman or child. No matter your contribution, every dollar matters. Tim Ballard, Operation Underground Railroad founder, …

Fighter Hand throw fixed wing

The fighter is a 10kg fixed-wing flight platform (hand parachute/VTOL), which is easy to carry,friendly to operate,stable and durable.The fighter is positioned as a heavy-duty,long-endurance fixed wing,which greatly reduces the difficulty of aerial survey,further liberates productivity and improves the efficiency of aerial survey The modular design concept makes the aircraft easy and fast to assemble.The wings,folding arms and tail fins can be easily dismantled, making the aircraft practical and portable and user-friendly.The open flight control cabin is compatible with Pixhawk flight control and supports mounting of Sony A7R2 4200W pixel full-frame camera /1.5kg lightweight lidar. The maximum support is 12s@22000mah lithium polymer battery,which can achieve ultra-long range and…

How the Sun can Improve Your Mood

How The Sun Can Improve Your Mood One of the most important things you can do to improve your mood is to make sure you get enough sunlight. If you often feel down and want to change that, then you need to make this a priority. When the sun shines in the retina, it makes the your serotonin release.  This is the hormone that makes you feel happy.  You will feel improvements not only on the day you are out in the sun but for days afterward. Just A Few Minutes Of Sun A Few Days A Week Makes A Difference You don’t need to go out in the sun every day to improve your mood, but just fifteen or so minutes in the sunlight a …

Pi-Connect Lite released

The latest version of Pi-Connect Lite board has been released. It’s a minor increment over the previous version, with better power switch placement and clearer labels. It is ideal for anyone wanting a quick and simple way to integrate a Raspberry Pi board with a MAVLink-based flight controller, with a high capacity power supply and Pixhawk-standard JST-GH telemetry connector. It also features a power switch for safely shutting down the Pi. Take a look at the full specifications over at: https://www.rpanion.com/product/pi-connect-lite/

Radar/Laser altimeter for DJI M210/M210V2

Hi, we implemented radar/laser altimeter support for DJI M210/M210V2 drones (in addition to previously supported M600/M600Pro/A3). Set consists of UgCS SkyHub onboard computer, radar or laser altimeter, set of cables and software. In general, we recommend using a radar altimeter (finally we selected http://en.nanoradar.cn/Article/detail/id/372.html). After 2 years of practice and feedback from our customers, we decided that laser altimeters have too many restrictions – they don’t work reliable under the bright sun, light fog, over water. Internally the system is pretty complex (diagram for A3 is below, for M210 is pretty the same), but it works 🙂 Full description and documentation here – https://industrial.ugcs.com/true-terrain-following UgCS

Using a drone to measure the wind

Cool research from Virginia Tech using a 3DR Solo to do wind measurement: All multirotor drones can be used as wind sensors, providing wind profiles on demand, anywhere, with higher spatiotemporal resolution and a fraction of the cost of other methods. See the free open-access paper https://lnkd.in/em95QEa on how to obtain wind profiles from the drone’s dynamic response to wind-induced perturbations. The study was led by soon-to-graduate Virginia Tech

Fighter VTOL 4+1 fixed wing

The fighter is a 10kg fixed-wing flight platform (hand parachute/VTOL), which is easy to carry,friendly to operate,stable and durable.The fighter is positioned as a heavy-duty,long-endurance fixed wing,which greatly reduces the difficulty of aerial survey,further liberates productivity and improves the efficiency of aerial survey The modular design concept makes the aircraft easy and fast to assemble.The wings,folding arms and tail fins can be easily dismantled, making the aircraft practical and portable and user-friendly.The open flight control cabin is compatible with Pixhawk flight control and supports mounting of Sony A7R2 4200W pixel full-frame camera /1.5kg lightweight lidar. The maximum support is 12s@22000mah lithium polymer battery,which can achieve ultra-long range and…

Help Us Solve One of Nature’s Greatest Puzzles

Newly emerged virgin honey bee queens become inseminated in flight by multiple male honey bees (drones) in elevated regions called Drone Congregation Areas (DCAs).  These DCAs are areas five to 60 meters above ground and 30 to 200 meters in diameter. They can persist in the same place for dozens of years – longer than the life of any queen (a couple years) and much longer than the life of a drone (21-32 days!).   This raises a question: How do queens and drones know where the DCA is year after year.  Since drones and queens arrive at DCAs from multiple colonies, it is believed that DCAs exist so that queens can maximize the genetic diversity in their colony.  Somehow, they all know where to go to link up.   To try …

Artificial insect intelligence and vision for nano drones – how many pixels do you actually need?

(Photo by Dustin Iskandar, CC BY 2.0) My long-time interest has been in developing insect-type vision for small drones. Properly implemented, I believe that such vision hardware and algorithms will allow small drones to fly safely amidst clutter and obstacles. Of course, I have been following with great interest other approaches to providing autonomy to small drones. Like almost everyone else, I am in awe at the achievement of Skydio- nice work! My own work, though, has been to implement similar types of autonomy on much smaller “nano” scale platforms. These are tiny sparrow-sized drones that can fit in your hand and weigh just tens of grams. This is well under the 250-gram threshold the FAA uses to determine if a drone needs to…

Microsoft releases Pixhawk-based autonomous soaring drone code

From Microsoft Research: The past few years have seen tremendous progress in reinforcement learning (RL). From complex games to robotic object manipulation, RL has qualitatively advanced the state of the art. However, modern RL techniques require a lot for success: a largely deterministic stationary environment, an accurate resettable simulator in which mistakes – and especially their consequences – are limited to the virtual sphere, powerful computers, and a lot of energy to run them. At Microsoft Research, we are working towards automatic decision-making approaches that bring us closer to the vision of AI agents capable of learning and acting autonomously in changeable open-world conditions using the limited onboard compute. Project Frigatebird is our ambitious quest in this space, aimed at building intelligence that can enable…

Hegong University anti-epidemic drone to support the prevention and control work in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province

On February 25, the Drone Department of Hefei University of Technology carried anti-epidemic drones to urgently support the prevention and control of the streets of Dachengkou, Jingkou District, Zhenjiang City, Jiangsu Province. This support activity by Hefei University of Technology, Professor Zulei team joint cooperation unit Zhenjiang City Jingzhou Technology Co., Ltd. jointly carried out, Hegong University Zulei team actively volunteer to support the community first-line prevention and control work, donated 200 medical masks, 60 barrels of disinfectant and several boxes of food materials to support the anti-epidemic prevention and control work in Jingkou District, Zhenjiang City.China In this support volunteer activities, by the Hegong University Drone Department sent professionals, and provide anti-epidemic drone products into the first-line card port prevention and control support …

Best Drones Under $100

Best Drones Under $100 Making the best choice of gadgets at a minimal cost is the desire of every consumer. In this post, we will highlight the best drones that are under $100. Depending on your little budget, you will acquire the best flying machines. But if you have limited resources, we’ve selected the fastest, long-lasting, smartest, and most stylish UAVs below the $100 benchmark.  Blade Nano QX: With a market price of around $89, this is one of the best flying machines under the $100 mark. It may not perform like the Phantom 4, but it outshines its own price. As its name implies, the Nano QX is quite small. Business Insider describes it as being small enough to fit into a palm; the minuscule nature …