Chris Anderson is Editor-in-chief of the very well known magazine WIRED. In his free time, he discovered a passion for making flying robots with his son and launched the internet blog DIY Drones which now has nearly 12,000 members and about 1 million page views per month. The goal of the blog is to give you all the necessary tools to build your blimp, plane or quadrotor in a low cost, safe and easy way. The community relies on a development team of more than 100 active developers contributing to about a dozen projects, both hardware and software. One of their products, the ArduPilot autopilot, can be strapped to your flyers for autonomous control. In a rather new twist in the industry, DIY Drones focusses on making open source hardware that can be used by all in the same spirit as open source software.
Anderson covers all the questions you ever had about making flying robots, including safety and legal aspects. He also discusses risks in putting this technology in the wrong hands and some anecdotes of crazy projects coming out of the community.
Last week we asked you to describe a robotic character you would like to see on Futurama. Check out the cool ideas here! Congratulations to winner “occorled” for imagining our favorite robot “Outlook”:
A blocky humanoid robot which takes the role of Microsoft Outlook for the Futurama crew. He has the Outlook symbol on his chasis, and the Windows startup sound plays when he enters the room.
Consider a scene at the morning meeting, the crew is just sitting down, getting coffee, etc.
Outlook enters and starts handing out letters to everyone individually (symbolizing everyone checking their daily email). Some of the letters have attachments (literally polaroid pictures or notes attached with a paperclip).
Leela is flipping through hers, mumbling “spam, spam, ooooh what’s this”.
Outlook finishes and starts walking out the room.
Outlook: “OK people, remember we’ve got a meeting at 1:30 in the conference room.”
Everyone sighs. Mumbling is heard.
Hermes’ voice: “Notify me 5 minutes prior.”
Bender’s voice: “Declined!”