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Tag : Flying


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by and   -   March 28, 2014

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What’s with all the quadrotors in auto advertising these days? And what do quadrotor swarms have to do with cars? Probably not much at all, but apparently associating your auto brand with high-performance quads is de rigeur. Subaru is following the lead of Lexus (which launched its quadrotor ad last November), upping the ante by having the driver of the new WRX STI engage in a pas de deux (or should we say, ’pas de plusieurs?’) with a swarm of 300 LED-lit quadrotors. It makes for some pretty stunning footage, but before you get too excited, unlike the original Lexus ad (which had at least a decent portion of real footage from Kmel’s impressive quads) almost all of the quadrotor eye-candy in the new Subaru ad is CGI. The automaker’s desire to associate themselves with cutting edge technology may be a sign of just how popular quadrotors have become, but is hyper-realistic CGI enhancement inflating consumer’s expectations of what quadrotors can actually do? (see the video below)


by   -   March 4, 2014

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UPDATE 04/03/2014:

In this video update, we show that a quadrocopter can be safely piloted by hand after a motor fails, without the aid of a motion capture system. This follows our previous video, where we demonstrated how a complete propeller failure can be automatically detected, and that a quadrocopter can still maintain stable flight despite the complete loss of a propeller. 


by   -   December 16, 2013

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The DelFly Explorer, a flapping wing MAV equipped with a 4-gram stereo vision system that can fly completely by itself in unknown, cluttered environments. © Delft University of Technology.

The DelFly Explorer is the first flapping wing Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) that is able to fly with complete autonomy in unknown environments. Weighing just 20 grams and with a wingspan of 28cm, it is equipped with an onboard stereo vision system. The DelFly Explorer can perform an autonomous take-off, keep its height, and avoid obstacles for as long as its battery lasts (~9 minutes). All sensing and processing is performed on board, so no human or offboard computer is in the loop.


by   -   November 18, 2013

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Quadrocopters assembling tensile structures in the ETH Flying Machine Arena. Photo credit: Professorship for Architecture and Digital Fabrication and the Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control, ETH Zurich.

The team at the ETH Flying Machine Arena has released three new videos, demonstrating quadrotors building tensile structures, tossing a ball back and forth, and refining a figure-eight trajectory using iterative learning. Worth the watch!!


by   -   November 12, 2013

Did you know that the world’s population is set to increase from seven billion people to more than nine billion in the next 40 years? In order to meet this growing demand, agricultural producers will have to increase food production by a staggering 70 to 100 percent. This all needs to happen in a world with increasingly unpredictable weather patterns and ever-rising farm input costs.

You probably have a pretty good sense that I am a firm believer that precision agriculture and information is a big part of the answer. This is all about leveraging technology to provide more timely and accurate data in a way to increase efficiency and productivity by cutting time and overall cost. It is about doing more with less. But how are we getting there?


by   -   October 30, 2013

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Gimball is a flying robot that survives collisions. It weighs just 370g for 34cm in diameter. Photo credit: A. Herzog, EPFL.

Generally, flying robots are programmed to avoid obstacles, which is far from easy in cluttered environments. At the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems, we think that flying robots should be able to physically interact with their surroundings. Take insects: they often collide with obstacles and continue flying afterwards. We thus designed GimBall, a flying robot that can collide with objects seamlessly. Thanks to a passively rotating spherical cage, it remains stable even after taking hits from all sides. This approach enables GimBall to fly in the most difficult places without complex sensors.


by   -   September 24, 2013

To understand what the Drones for Schools program is, and how it came about, it helps to know a few things about my background. I didn’t originally set out to be a STEM educator. I had some science education from studying mechanical engineering as an undergraduate, but eventually wound up with a master’s in journalism. I didn’t think the two halves of my life would merge until I finished my master’s and took a job at a K-12 STEM education grant, at the University of Illinois


by   -   August 11, 2013

On June 30th of this year, Ryerson University in Toronto held an event titled UAVs: Pros vs Cons Symposium. Some of the presentations have since been incorporated into a YouTube playlist by Nikola Danaylov.


by   -   August 9, 2013

In this episode, we speak with Matthew Schroyer, founder of DroneJournalism.org, co-founder of Drones for Good, and developer of the “Drones for Schools” program which teaches students to design, fabricate and program unmanned aerial systems to monitor the environment.


by and   -   July 26, 2013

The Deployable Air Land Exploration Robot (DALER) uses its own wings to crawl and roll over a variety of terrains. Using a self-adjusting structure to transform its wings into rotating arms, the robot is able to flip, rotate and navigate its way around and over obstacles on the ground. Sharing the wings across different modes of locomotion reduces the amount of infrastructure and weight the robot must carry, thus improving flight performance. The ability to adapt to a variety of environments is important in search and rescue operations, where both air and ground searching may be required.


by   -   July 26, 2013

In this episode, we speak with Jonathan Roberts, research director of the Autonomous Systems Lab at the CSIRO ICT Centre in Brisbane Australia. Roberts leads a team of more than 45 scientists and engineers in wide variety of robotics and automation projects that feature flying, ground and underwater robots.


by and   -   July 17, 2013

Autonomously flying robots — also called small-scale unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) — are more and more exploited in civil and commercial applications for monitoring, surveillance, and disaster response. For some applications, it is beneficial if a team of coordinated UAVs rather than a single UAV is employed. Multiple UAVs can cover a given area faster or take photos from different perspectives at the same time. This emerging technology is still at an early stage and, consequently, profound research and development efforts are needed.


by   -   July 1, 2013

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This is the third tutorial in the Up and flying with the AR.Drone and ROS series.

In this tutorial we will:

  1. Learn about the AR.Drone’s state feedback (and how it is handled by ROS)
  2. Learn about the AR.Drone’s tag detection
  3. Program our first ROS nodes: A subscriber and a publisher

by   -   June 14, 2013

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Those who move away from home, for long enough, know that you end up not belonging anywhere. The more you move the easier it becomes. Looking back, you realize that you’ve learned new languages and cultures; you know how to get around like a local. It’s worth the effort. Yet, at parties, you’re always the foreigner. You have stories of how things are done differently in other places, some of your insights are useful, most are shrugged off. Why should they do things differently, and who are you to tell them? The fact is, you can’t really understand the challenges they face, you’re not from there.


by   -   June 11, 2013

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A new video released today by researchers from the Flying Machine Arena shows how a quadrocopter is able to learn from prior experience to improve future performance.

This new research is an extension of results published last year by the same group, which show how quadrocopters can learn to fly high-performance slalom courses (video).

Much like humans learn through repetition and practice, the quadrocopter repeatedly flies the slalom course, records any errors made and then tries to compensate for these errors during the next attempt.





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