Busy making things: github, links, photos, @mc.

Arduino: Transforming the DIY UAV Community

Posted: May 12th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Open Source | Comments Off

It’s been pretty awesome watching the homebrew UAV community discover and embrace Arduino. Back in January community leader Chris Anderson discovered and fell in love with Arduino. Today he posted information and the board design for an Arduino-powered UAV platform. Because everything is open, it’s very easy to combine functionality from other boards in order to reduce the cost:

The decision to port the Basic Stamp autopilot to Arduino turned out to be an unexpected opportunity to make something really cool. I’ve taken Jordi’s open source RC multiplexer/failsafe board, and mashed it up with an Arduino clone to create “ArduPilot”, perhaps the cheapest autopilot in the world. ($110! That’s one-third the price of Paparazzi)

As with their other projects, the UAV schematics, board design, and Arduino control software will be released before they’re done. It’s quite awesome to realize just how cheap the Arduino-based autopilot is:

That’s a $110 autopilot, thanks to the open source hardware. By comparison, the Basic Stamp version of this, with processor, development board and failsafe board, would run you $300, and it’s not as powerful

I’ve been quite impressed by how quickly the Arduino autopilot has gotten off the ground (pun only slightly intended). The decision to port the existing Basic Stamp code to Arduino was made just over a week ago. While I haven’t seen the control code, it looks like the team are well on their way.

I love it when geek topics collide, and this is about as good as it gets. I’ll be keeping a close eye on the ArduPilot, and I can’t wait to see it in the skies.


This whole number reuse thing has gone too far

Posted: May 4th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Mobile | Comments Off

This madness needs to stop!

Espoo, Finland – Nokia today unveiled a trio of mobile devices that balance stunning and sophisticated looks with the latest in mobile functionality. All three devices, the Nokia 6600 fold, the Nokia 6600 slide and the Nokia 3600 slide present a smooth, minimalist design and an appealing array of easy-to-use features. The devices range in price from 175 EUR to 275 EUR before taxes and subsidies and are expected to start shipping during the third quarter of 2008.

I know that Nokia have a finite set of product names when we’re talking about 4 digit numbers. Aside from the Nseries and Eseries and a handful of other products, Nokia are pretty keen on assigning 4 digit numbers as product names. While often confusing, at least it avoids product names like RAZR or ENv. I don’t quite get the naming of the 6600 fold and the 6600 slide though. Either someone in Espoo has the attention span of a goldfish or they expect that S60 consumers do.

Us S60 owners are a pretty loyal and knowledgeable bunch. We do our research and know our history. I may be wrong, but I’d venture that a good number of S60 users could name a dozen or more S60 models from the 7650 to the N-Gage to the N95. Surely a good chunk of us would rattle off the 6600 in the process. We might also remember the 3600 as the awkward American cousin of the 3650.

You know, that business phone from 2003 that brought significant hardware and software upgrades to the table compared to the 7650 and the 3650. I sure remember it as if it were yesterday.

Every once in awhile someone raises a stink about Nokia reusing a product number. Usually it’s a product number from the 80′s or 90′s and the word “Classic” is attached to the new phone. I’m OK with that. I just think that it’s a little early to be reusing a product code from 2003 in a market segment of geeks and power users.