Tag: Quadcopter

WLToys V303 Seeker GPS Quadcopter announced

WLToys V303 Seeker GPS Quadcopter announced

March 6, 2014 23:01 | By | 1 Comment

Begun the clone war has. Or rather we’re right in the middle of it. WLToys just put up a new product on banggood.com, the V303 Seeker Quadcopter.

seeker1aIt’s another RTF quadcopter with basic GPS functionality, position hold and return home to be exact. It comes with a 2700mAh 3S battery for flight times of 12-14 minutes. Included in the package is a horrible WLToys transmitter.

Price at the time of writing is $387.- at BangGood.com

To be honest, at that price WLToys is not going to get many customers. Not with DJI dropping prices considerably recently, as well as even cheaper competition coming up. Take for example the Cheerson CX20, which has similar specs but can be yours for just $255.

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A bunch of new Quadcopters from Hobbyking

A bunch of new Quadcopters from Hobbyking

February 21, 2014 17:10 | By | Add a Comment

HK has updated their growing catalogue with several interesting new multirotor offerings:

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The Micro-X is a tiny MultiWii Quadcopter with a lightweight frame that has the flight controller integrated into it. You may be wondering why this is new given that they already have several versions of this available – well  this model comes with two batteries, and the DSM2-Receiver is integrated on the PCB. It’s about USD $50.- which is a pretty good price.

47075(4)The FPV250 frame is a one-piece frame for mini-sized FPV quadcopters. You can fit any 50×50 standard flight controller like the Crius AIO or the KK 2.0/2.1 boards, and it has tabs and mounts for small fpv cameras and video transmitters. Being a one-piece frame means that while it’s very rigid and certainly repairable with epoxy, severe crashes mean you’ll have to buy a whole new frame. However, it’s $10 a piece so we can’t complain!

47013-1(2)The SK450 is a ready-to-fly quadcopter featuring a KK 2.0 flight controller, 20A ESCs, four 2213 motors and a full set of 8×4.5 as well as a set of 10×4.5 props. This is an interesting package because not only is the KK flight controller absolutely excellent (even more so with RC911’s amazing “++” firmware), but you get props for both heavier payload (battery, camera) as well as for aerobatic flying. Also included is a Turnigy 5x radio system, so this is really a complete RTF package. The KK 2.0 looks a bit strange, given that they’ve phased out this model in favor of the KK 2.1 recently, but from our tests you should not let that deter you as the 2.0 board flies just as well.
Sadly though the Turnigy 5x, although functional, is pretty much a throwaway radio and brings the package price to USD $190.0,-
If you already have a radio and/or you want a better radio, you should consider building our $120 Quadcopter instead. You can get a really nice computer radio for the $70 you save. That said, the idea is a good one and maybe HK will release a version without TX, or with a Turnigy 9x lateron.

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Renault Kwid concept car features integrated quadcopter drone

Renault Kwid concept car features integrated quadcopter drone

February 7, 2014 19:29 | By | Add a Comment

Have you ever thought about using your quadcopter during a traffic jam to scout ahead and see just how long you’ll have to wait? Or scout difficult terrain where reversing would be difficult? The folks at Renault apparently did, and although their new Kwid concept car is probably never going to be at your local dealership, the idea is cool nonetheless.

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An integrated autonomous drone launches from a dedicated pad on the car, allowing the driver to survey the surrounding area and look for detours, assess the length of traffic jams… who are we kidding, this is basically a James Bond toy come true. Or rather, in concept phase.

renaultkwid2

No doubt the FAA will have a few words to say about this. Or more likely just one word: “No.”

But if you’re like us and enjoy relishing the dream, there’s a neat making of video after the break.

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Blade 350 QX AP adds 2-axis gimbal and HD camera

Blade 350 QX AP adds 2-axis gimbal and HD camera

January 30, 2014 17:20 | By | 2 Comments

Horizon just announced the Blade 350 QX AP, obviously meant to compete with the DJI Phantom Vision, but featuring an actual brushless gimbal with an included full HD camera. This RTF package even features an integrated 5.8GHz video downlink.

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Features:

• 2-axis brushless gimbal with optional pitch control
• 1080/30 camera with 720/30 video downlink to mobile devices
• 3S 3000 mAh flight battery for extended shoots
• New DX4 Transmitter

The 350 QX AP Combo also takes on a host of upgrades to the existing system including:
• New RF chipset with external antenna
• Improved GPS performance and accuracy
• Visual compass error detection to alert the user for calibration
• Simplified radio solution for ease of use
• Included AC/DC charging solution
• White battery hatch for improved orientation

Availability is planned for late May 2014, at a retail price of $1,149.99 – which is quite a lot of money for the convenience of an RTF.  If you don’t mind fiddling with the inner workings a bit, a similar-performing system can be had for a lot less.

Check out the product video after the break.

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Draganfly Shadow and Guardian announced

Draganfly Shadow and Guardian announced

January 20, 2014 15:42 | By | Add a Comment

Draganfly recently announced their  Shadow and Guardian models, which are RTF Quadcopters designed to carry camera payloads for extended filming missions. Both share the same frame, with the Guardian sporting stronger motors and a bigger battery.

BLACK-Draganfly-Innovations-Logo Draganflyer-controller

Both come with a fancy-looking handheld radio with a bright color touchscreen in the center. The shadow sports a 300g payload capacity, while the Guardian can carry up to 400g at even longer flight times. Available options include a vibration dampened GoPro mount, a stabilizing GoPro gimbal, as well as a stabilized 1-axis gimbal for a 20 megapixel sony camera with optical zoom.

Of course both support GPS position hold, return home, altitude hold, etc. and the Guardian even comes in a stylish pelican case for quick mission deployment. No word on pricing yet, though with a turnkey system like that, expect a nice four-digit sum.

Promotion video after the break.

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Flying Robot Dance

Flying Robot Dance

January 8, 2014 13:10 | By | Add a Comment

KMel Robotics and Yuneec International announce their collaboration on a family of aerial photography vehicles with this video, unveiled at CES 2014. For more information on “Flying Eyes” visit flyingeyes.com

In case the similarities have you scratching your head, KMel Robotics is indeed the company behind the Blade 350QX firmware.  And as one of their employees posted on RCGroups: “By the way, I can no longer answer 350QX-related questions and talk about any potential issues. It was fun while it lasted”

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Hubsan H109S Pro X4 announced

Hubsan H109S Pro X4 announced

January 2, 2014 11:00 | By | 9 Comments

Pining for that upcoming Hubsan H109? Hubsan’s upcoming Phantom-competitor certainly looks interesting, and now they’re upping the ante with the announcement of the GoPro-ready H109S Pro X4!

h109s-x4-00Features are GPS position hold and return to land, barometer sensor for precise altitude hold and the possibility of waypoint capability via future updates.

Perhaps most interestingly this comes with a massive 5300mAh battery for flight times of up to 30 minutes, according to Hubsan. Sadly though, it comes with a modified version of the old Hubsan FPV transmitter, so the question is whether the short transmitter battery life issue has been fixed. Also according to the manufacturer this will use the Hubsan radio protocol, which means it’s a non-hopping, single channel 2.4GHz system. This time however they added a proper SMA connector for the FPV antenna, and they even supply both a linear patch as well as a circular cloverleaf antenna in the set, so you can exchange antenna depending on the situation.

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No word on price yet, though preorders for the vanilla H109 are at $150 right now. With the right price point and proper performance this could very well be a solid competitor in the field of RTF multirotors. Planned release date is end of February 2014.

Full official blurb after the break.

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Wireless power transmission for quadrotors

Wireless power transmission for quadrotors

January 1, 2014 20:13 | By | Add a Comment

Want to fly your quadcopter indefinitely, recharging it in the air? Inductive power transmission is an old hat, but the drawback is short transmission range. Magnetic resonance however works at more realistic ranges of about 1 meter, depending on scale. Dr. Carrick Detweiler wrote a paper on a similar subject, though in this case the idea is to power small sensors from a nearby quadcopter.

wirelesspower

The problem is that small sensors need very little power, while mid-sized multicopters are difficult to supply with sufficient energy wirelessly. Nethertheless, an interesting subject considering that automated multicopters could remotely activate and power systems via proximity.

Demonstration video after the break.

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Quadcopter Destruction Competition

Quadcopter Destruction Competition

December 4, 2013 13:13 | By | Add a Comment

Do you enjoy watching robots duking it out? You might enjoy the first Quadcopter Destruction Competition, to be held in Louisville KY on December 21st.

On December 21st, at 6pm, LVL1 is hosting its first ever Quadcopter Destruction Competition!  Test your aerial skills in the ring of battle in this single-elimination tournament of destruction! For $40, you get a quadcopter, and entry into this one-of-a-kind competition.

Here’s how it works: On December 14th, you’ll receive your Quadcopter.  You have 7 days to train up and modify your drone however you see fit. On the day of the competition, all competitors will be placed in a single elimination tournament. Before each round, a 3 foot crepe-paper streamer will be attached to your drone.  The match begins by a signal from the event organizer, and ends when one competitor’s quadcopter can no longer take flight, OR one competitor’s quadcopter runs out of battery power. If one quadcopter is rendered unable to take to the skies, the remaining quadcopter is the winner.  if both survive, the winner is the quadcopter with the longest streamer remaining.

Contest Rules:

1. The event organizers may disqualify any quadcopter at any time for any reason.

2. Any modifications applied to the quadcopter must pass the following test: “You must be willing to remain in the same room as the quadcopter if the controls are given to a psychopathic 12 year old.”

And yes, you may use your own flight controller instead of the one supplied to you. Deadline for registration is December 11th.

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Quadcopter recovers from prop loss thanks to clever algorithm

Quadcopter recovers from prop loss thanks to clever algorithm

December 2, 2013 20:01 | By | Add a Comment

Mark Mueller just posted about the practical demonstration of one of his upcoming papers. Sound boring? It isn’t: What he and his colleagues are doing is to let a quadcopter detect and cope with the loss of one propeller, having the remaining motors bring the craft into a spinning hover that allows for a soft landing.

Failsafe_algorithm_sequence

According to Mark, this algorithm can be implemented on most of the available flight controllers and works using just the existing onboard accelerometers and gyros.

Impressed yet? Check out the demonstration video below for a jawdropper.

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Locust ARF Quadcopter Kit Review

Locust ARF Quadcopter Kit Review

December 1, 2013 21:58 | By | 90 Comments

The Locust Quadcopter Kit from Goodluckbuy is an amazingly cheap offer for USD $209, complete with Crius AIO, brushless GoPro gimbal and optional GPS antenna. Is it too cheap? Find out in our review below.

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DJI Phantom collides with Sydney Bridge, captures interesting footage

DJI Phantom collides with Sydney Bridge, captures interesting footage

November 26, 2013 10:11 | By | Add a Comment

Edward Prescott flew his quadcopter around Sydney Bridge last month when apparently his camera mounting failed and the drone crashed into the bridge when it tried to get home via GPS auto-return. Landing on railway tracks it prompted a train to stop and its driver to pick it up.

The onboard GoPro recorded everything, including the curious faces of the railway staff.

Interestingly, Prescott got his drone back pretty quickly from NSW Police. These days you’d expect jailtime for “accidental terrorism” or something. That said: Flying in densely populated areas is not a smart idea. Especially not if your experience is limited to flying a DJI Phantom out of the box.

Check out the video of this luckily-harmless accident after the break.

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The Micro Drone 2.0 with Aerial Camera

The Micro Drone 2.0 with Aerial Camera

November 25, 2013 13:46 | By | Add a Comment

Lusting for a mini-quadcopter with an integrated camera, but don’t want to spend $100? The Micro Drone 2.0 is now being sold for a mere USD $64.- over at CultOfMac.com. It looks a lot like a Walkera Ladybird with an on-board camera and microSD video recorder. The camera is a standard-definition model, so don’t expect amazing HD footage.

Still, for 64 bucks, that’s not too bad. Sale ends in 6 days though, so you have to be quick. Or, you know, wait for the next sale.

Video of the Micro Drone 2.0 after the break.

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Paralyzed man uses FPV drone to “walk” around

Paralyzed man uses FPV drone to “walk” around

November 25, 2013 11:48 | By | Add a Comment

This is one amazing use of robots and quadcopters as telepresence device for disabled people:

Henry Evans, who was paralized by a stroke in the prime of his life, is now chained to a bed by his body. With only minimal motor control, his options of “getting around” would be zero, were it not for… essentially, purpose-built RC vehicles.

He’s showing off a modified AR.Drone quadcopter which he controls via an Oculus Rift. He also enjoys playing robot soccer. Of course this is very much experimental and the short flight times and high maintenance effort means he is not going to do this without help or supervision anytime soon, but it’s inspiring nonetheless.

Check out the really awesome TED talk video after the break.

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Two interesting and cheap 450-size quadcopters

Two interesting and cheap 450-size quadcopters

November 22, 2013 12:04 | By | Add a Comment

Two interesting offers just went up on GLB: First we have a complete F450 Quadcopter with Crius AIO Pro V1.1 flight controller, 20 Amp ESCs and Motors which comes pre-assembled for USD $140. Just attach the motors and connect your receiver and you’re ready to fly. Add a $25 GPS module, upload the MegaPirate firmware and you have a stable, GPS capable drone that does an unlimited number of waypoints.

The second offer is also a 450-sized quadcopter, but includes landing skids and an aluminum camera gimbal for your GoPro, complete with gimbal controller, 20A ESCs, Crius AIO V1.1 flight controller, motors and props. Price for this one is USD $231.-

These multicopters come without manuals, which means you will have to read up or watch a video on flashing MegaPirate, but the upside is that get a ton of features, especially unlimited waypoint planning and other nifty stuff that the closed-source competition charges a lot of money for.