Articles for May 2015

Drone stuck on 115,000-volt power line

“Watching Saturday’s events unfold, Jones said he knew the job must have cost City Light “quite a bit of money” because there were eight line workers and a fleet of trucks and service vehicles. But when he asked workers what it was costing, he didn’t expect $35,000.

“That is a staggering sum of money — all for the benefit of the liberty to fly some toy around in an environment where it doesn’t belong,” he said.”

Full story by the Seattle Times here.

Powered by WPeMatico

APM Simple Package Installer for Linux, Mac and Windows?

The Arduino Boards Manager provides a simple way to download and install the source code and tools for new hardware

The Arduino Ide has a new easy to use hardware installation tool that might be of interest to some. A similar tool is also now available in Microsoft Visual Studio using the Visual Micro plugin (expanded/advanced view image above).

This design helps less expert developers to easily find software such as ArduPlane and ArduCopter and provides a simple one-click “download and install” or option to install a specific release. 

Arduino have called the new tool the “Board Manager”. The board manager is driven via simple JSON index files which the ArduDev team might maintain. The .json index files can exist anywhere on the web, a common place is github.

The json index file(s) can define packages that contain multiple versions of the same platform (but only one version of each can be installed at a time).

Below you can see there are two platforms for “Arduino AVR” and “Arduino SAM”. The two platforms are defined in a single json file that is installed with the Arduino Ide 1.6.4.

APM might be defined in a similar way with ArduPlane and ArduCopter as two platforms defined in a single package called “DIYDrones”.  Each platform can define one or more boards and Arduino.

 package that contains all the ArduPlane and ArduCopter versions but only one version of each can be installed at any one time.

Microsoft Visual Studio management tool for Arduino Community hardware

Powered by WPeMatico

How to update FS-i6/TGY-i6 with Arduino

Hey all, I just updated my transmitter without needing any extra cable, just using my Arduino Nano 

Note: This has been tested with Arduino Nano v3.0, but should work with any Arduino board using ATmega328 like Arduino Mini and Uno. I’ve also tryed with Arduino Mega, but it doesn’t work, seems to work only with ATmega328.

Connections Setup:

  • Connect Arduino RESET pin and GND (This will bypass the TTL commands comming from the PC directly to TX and RX pins)
  • Connect TX pin from the transmitter to the TX pin on the Arduino
  • Connect RX pin from the transmitter to the RX pin on the Arduino
  • Same with GND, to GND in Arduino

Connections (see above)

Update instructions:

  • Connect Arduino to your PC
  • Check in Windows Device Manager for the COM port number assigned to Arduino under Port (COM & LPT), if there is any errors or warnings follow the instructions from the video at the end of the post
  • Write down all your settings, the update will override them
  • Prepare the transmitter for the Update: System > Firmware update > OK > YES
  • Execute .exe as Administrator
  • Select the same COM port that is in Windows Device Manager
  • Press Open Port
    If version appears in the text box that means we are connected and ready to update 😀

  • Press Programme
  • Wait until it finishes and done!

Now just disconnect all and restart your transmitter

Enjoy it!!

If you try with a different Arduino and it works, let me know to update the post

Just made a video in Youtube with the main steps:

Video to install Arduino FTDI drivers:

Powered by WPeMatico

Google’s Cyber Drone Crashed

From Bloomberg:

The unmanned Solara 50 fell to the ground shortly after takeoff on May 1 and the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board is investigating, Keith Holloway, an agency spokesman, said in an interview. The accident occurred at a private airstrip east of Albuquerque and no one was injured, he said.
The crash is a setback for Google’s high-altitude vision of how to bring Internet access to areas of the world without sufficient infrastructure on the ground. Titan Aerospace, the company Google bought last year for undisclosed terms, built the drone, which its promotional material says has a wingspan of 50 meters (164 feet). It is supposed to fly above the weather, where it could then beam Internet signals to earth as if it was a satellite.

Powered by WPeMatico

The UAV Guide Q&A section: The Stack Overflow of UAVs

Hello everyone,

We’d like to reintroduce The UAV Guide, a site with the mission of helping you quickly advance your UAV knowledge and skills through an ever evolving centralized repository that has practical, easy to digest information.  It is meant to be complementary to DIY Drones and other online UAV communities.

Today we present the newly installed Q&A section: Got a question? Ask an expert!

If you have any question regarding UAVs, you can post it in the Q&A site and receive answers by experts on the topic.

The Q&A section aims to be ‘the StackOverflow of UAVs’, where experts and beginners alike go to share knowledge and receive recognition for their contributions.  The goal is for this Q&A is to be the first place you’ll think of if you have any question regarding UAV’s, no matter how simple or advanced it is. 
You can easily log in through your Facebook or Twitter account, or by registering directly on the siteThe more users join, the more useful it will become!

The UAV Guide is powered by its users, so take a look and if you like (or don’t like!) what you see, we would like to hear your feedback.


-The TUG Team

Powered by WPeMatico

Canada drone regulations change in 2016

TC now consults on proposed changes to UAV safety regulations.

In 2016, Transport Canada intends to introduce regulatory requirements for UAVs 25kgs or less that are operated within visual line-of-sight. The proposed regulatory amendments to the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) are intended to ensure the safe and reliable operation of UAVs in Canadian airspace. Transport Canada also intends to preserve the SFOC process to focus on higher risk operations that are not covered by the proposed regulations, including UAVs larger than 25kgs and those operated beyond visual line-of-sight

if you have comments please send them to Transport Canada before August 28th at carrac @

Powered by WPeMatico

FPV Racing

I just want to let you know about our FPV racing community at FPV racing is a new sport that combines high-tech drones with high-speed racing. It’s a lot of fun and extremely addictive.

On our website you can create a profile, join a racing team, create a build (or check out other builds), challenge people to race, compete in international time trial competitions, find out about local racing events, chat with other pilots and much more.

I hope that this is of interest to some of you.

Powered by WPeMatico

GoPro drone to launch in the first half of 2016

Not much info yet but at least we know the launch date:

Woodman also revealed the company is working on a quadcopter — or drone, as they’re more commonly known. He declined to share any details about its design and pricing, but it’s slated to launch in the first half of 2016 and will be aimed at consumers. 

“It’s incredible to see our world from new perspectives. It’s a real ‘Oh my God’ moment,” said Woodman. “We did that with our GoPro cameras, and we see a similar opportunity in the quadcopter market. It’s something that’s in our DNA, and we are excited about it across the company.”

Though it’s working on its own hardware, GoPro plans to continue working with other drone manufacturers to provide cameras and software solutions for aerial video and photography.

“We recognize that consumers want choice,” said Woodman. “Our primary focus is enabling great content, and however they want to do that, we’re excited to be part of that.”

Woodman also announced virtual reality accessory:

The first is the Six-Camera Spherical Array. The ball-shaped accessory mount can accommodate six Hero4 cameras positioned in different directions to capture high-resolution images and video for virtual reality. The recorded video and pictures can then be stitched together using Kolor, the virtual reality software company GoPro acquired in April, to create one unified 6K spherical image.

The resulting video can be viewed on VR headsets like Oculus, Google Cardboard and Microsoft HoloLens. It can also be viewed on your smartphone or PC using the Kolor app or YouTube 360. If viewing on a mobile device, you can physically turn around to look in any direction — up, down, left, right. On your computer’s browser, you can use your cursor to get different views. Here’s an example video GoPro shot for the Code Conference.


Powered by WPeMatico

Introducing the Sprite Payload Developer Kit (PDK)

We’re not quite halfway through our campaign, and we are absolutely delighted by the enthusiasm Sprite is getting!  Thank you to ALL of you for your interest and support!

Today we’re introducing a new Reward, the Sprite Payload Developer Kit, to make it easier for everyone to make Sprite do what you want it to do…whatever that is.  Want to make a grappling hook?  Do it.  A cellular network relay?  Knock yourself out.  An emergency locator transmitter?  Do it.

This package will include all of the digital files you’ll need to design and print a custom bulkhead.   It will attach to the bottom of Sprite’s Main Module, interface with other modules like the optional Light Ring and LaunchPod landing gear, and provide a watertight seal to keep things dry inside.  There’s also an accommodation for power and data connections, and once performance testing is complete on Sprite, we’ll include weight and final dimensional limitations.

So what will it cost?  Not much.

All current and future backers will receive the PDK as part of their existing pledge.  There’s no need to do anything else.  Backed us with a Sprite Explorer commitment?  You’ll get the PDK.  In line for a tee shirt?  You’ll get the PDK also.  Donate a buck?  Yep, you get the PDK, too.  If you haven’t donated yet, we’re creating a new Reward that will allow you to select the PDK separately.  It’s going to have a Reward level of $25.  Now you’re probably thinking…well, if I can get the PDK for a “No Reward” donation of $1, why would I select the $25 PDK Reward?  Well, just because.  You don’t have to.  But every little bit will help us bring Sprite to life that much faster, and that much better.

Anything else?

Any development done with the PDK needs to be done under a non-commercial, open source license.  We’ll ask you to post your designs to Ascent’s website for distribution to other members of the Sprite community to use.

THANK YOU for your support so far, and please keep the questions and comments coming!

Powered by WPeMatico