Articles for November 2015

OneDrone.ONE – Modular Drone System

I’m happy to present a project which occupied quite a lot of our time in the last year. We didn’t plan to go public yet, but after I saw couple of days ago that colleagues from BoxBotix are working on pretty similar concept, we decided to present some initial info to diydrones community.

OneDrone.ONE is modular system, which fills the gap in the segment of advanced hobby and professional use – with focus on geosurvey, crop monitoring, search&rescue and similar applications. We like ArduPilot platform very much and we use Pixhawk in majority of our current range of dedicated copters for geosurvey and crop monitoring … but we are confident that our new system . OneDrone.ONE will bring user experience to new level and bring the most from Pixhawk. sports all the experience we at gathered in past years, combined with clean and efficient design from Andrej Stanta (Provoco), creator of

For now … presentation movie and some photos. Website with all the info will be launched in one month.

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BBBMINI with ArduPilot, EKF2 and dual IMU MPU-9250

Since first introduction of the BBBMINI and then BBBMINI-PCB beginning of the year, there are a lot of improvements and test flights done. As the result we get a low-priced, reliable and up-to-date DIY Linux Autopilot runs ArduPilot software.

With the merge of EKF2 (Extended Kalman Filter) in ArduPilot master, you can add easily a second IMU as its own instance to the BBBMINI. I tried that and attached a second MPU-9250 (GY-9250 breakout board, about 6$) to the unused BBBMINI SPI0 pin header. With a small patch I get the second IMU (and compass) up and running. After changing the ArduPilot configuration, both IMUs appears at the GSC and in the log files. Finally I have to do a compass and accel calibration.

After some “flight” checks with dismounted propellers my “250 BBBMINI Indoor Test Quad” was ready for the first dual IMU flight.  

The Quadcopter is not yet tuned, but it fly much better than expected. I flew indoor 7 minutes in Alt-Hold and the Quadcopter only moves about +/- 50cm in height, I only did some small pitch and roll commands to keep the Quadcopter in position. I am happy with EKF2 dual IMU and I am looking forward to test it outside (with GPS) when the weather conditions allow it.

The film below shows what happens when you unplugged one IMU “in flight”, the Quadcopter should be still flyable, but that is not tested 😉

Best regards


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ROSimple: Programming APMrover through blocks

Continuing our work in simplifying the use of drones and robots for any public, we are delighted to announce that we have started adding support for APM based vehicles in ROSimple. Due to the simplicity that APMrover offers comparing to the other vehicles, we have started adding blocks for programming it.

In order to command the drone, ROSimple uses MAVROS to comunicate with APM. ROSimple generates a Python script to execute the different commands that the users wants to do. Here you have a small example of how it works:

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Amazon Shows Off New Prime Air Drone With Hybrid Design

Amazon delivered a lovely update on its ‘Prime Air’ project today — almost exactly two years after it showed the first iteration of its drone. You know, the flying delivery dronethat some thought was a massive joke meant for April 1st. Included are some high-res shots and two new videos.The video, moderated by ex-Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson (who is now working on a new series for Amazon), talks about the design and your experience as a recipient:

As you can see, Amazon has now moved to a hybrid design. It looks much bigger than in previous renderings. Imagine that thing flying towards the neighbor’s house. Get ready for reports of aliens rising if this thing ever comes to fruition.

The new Prime Air drone isn’t just a quadcopter anymore. It still takes off and lands vertically, but then it switches to a regular horizontal flight mode, which is far more efficient. It’s basically part helicopter, part airplane. With this new design, the drone can cover over 15 miles and fly over 55 mph, Amazon says. In the video, Clarkson says Amazon is working on a family of drones for different environments and purposes.

The new drones feature at least some degree of sense-and-avoid technology and once it arrives at its intended location, it’ll scan the area and look for a landing spot. Right now, it looks like users will be able to mark this spot in their yard, for example, with an Amazon logo. The drone then lands, drops off the package and takes off again.

“This design enables it to fly long distances efficiently and go straight up and down in a safe, agile way. It is one of many prototype vehicles we have developed,” an Amazon spokesperson told us. “One day, seeing Prime Air vehicles will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road.”

Obviously, Amazon still has a few hurdles to climb, even with this new design. Chances are, we won’t see these new drones deliver packages in a city anytime soon. The new design, however, should work really well in a more rural and suburban area (and yes, feel free to leave us a comment about how you would shoot it down if it flew over your house).

If Amazon can solve some of the harder sense-and-avoid issues (like small power lines), then maybe Prime Air will take off sooner than many of use expected (assuming Amazon manages to work within the FAA’s upcoming regulations for commercial drones).

source & more:

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New Modular Cameras – Olympus AIR (A01) and Vivitar IU680

The latest trend in camera products – modular cameras – is good news for us as drone users.

With Sony releasing products such as the QX100 and QX1 it seemed like high quality alternatives to the gopro we’re becoming available.

Now with Olympus and soon Vivitar being the latest companies to add their own modular camera to the list, it looks like 2016 will be an interesting year for modular camera technology.

Here is a shot of the new AIR A01

And the yet to be released Vivitar IU680 Model

Unfortunately two key requirements have still not been met from what information we have available.

1 – The ability to record 4k video

2 – A simple Analogue Video OUT for FPV

In addition it seems there are very few reliable options for stable camera gimbals that have been designed for these cameras.

Hopefully the options will get better in the very near future.

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DJI Phantom 3 and Inspire 1 are now supported in UgCS!

We are glad to announce that DJI Phantom 3 and Inspire 1 are now supported in UgCS desktop mission planning software. This works through our Android app UgCS for DJI available now on Google Play. The app connects to DJI Phantom 3 or Inspire 1 remote the same way DJI native app does. What is different is that, once your laptop and Android device are connected to the same network, your drone is automatically recognized in UgCS desktop mission planning software.

This enables you to use UgCS desktop mission planning functionality to its full extent on your Phantom 3 or Inspire 1.

This allows you to pre-plan automated missions from the comfort of your office without the need to even turn the vehicle on. Then, once you are out in the field, simply turn on the vehicle, upload the pre-made mission and fly. This saves you battery time and the hassle of setting everything up in the field.

UgCS works on Windows, Mac OS X and Ubuntu.

For more information and downloads visit

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OpenLRSng: Brotronics Broversity RX, the Missing Manual

If you’re doing long range, and you’re using ardupilot, you probably are using or want to be using the open source OpenLRSng.

The most interesting OpenLRSng receiver I found was the “Brotronics Broversity RX”, but its documentation was minimal, so I wrote some and made a demo video:

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Biomechanical simulation of dung beetles

I design it to carry Relief goods to disaster city while hurtling the desert for long periods.

« explanation »
 – Fore legs decide traveling direction.
 – Mid legs which is most close to the centroid take most traction and load.
 – Hind legs are auxiliary legs for moving the left and right legs alternately and if they do not function, proceeds as butterfly stroke.

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Professional carbon fiber frame – 2

Hi all~

This is the second episode. We decided to make it … more colorful 🙂 Just to be clear, all figures here are still CG, the prototype is being printed. 

There are two doors on the frame, one on top, one on tail, both with sealing rings to make the frame waterproof. We plan to fasten the doors with screws, not as convenient, but probably more secure.

We are now making changes according to the feedback from the fellows in this community (thank you very much!), including:

– More flexibility of the flight controller orientation

– Swappable battery instead of built-in

– Retractable landing gears

– Improvements in aerodynamics (we don’t have capability in CF simulation, trying our best…with the brain power)

We plan to adopt H-frame as our next design, with a semi recessed nacelle (thanks again for the suggestion). 

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