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back to article An autopilot the size of a postage stamp

A Dutch research group has demonstrated an autopilot about the size of a passport photo, as the controller of a quadcopter. Part of the open source Paparazzi free autopilot project, the Lisa/S packs a decent amount of capability onto0 such a small space. While the ARM Cortex M3 MCU only runs at 72 MHz, it's processing signals …

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open source Paparazzi project

Very cool device but the project name does suggest it may be open to abuse by every Herbert who wants to invade privacy. Want to quickly case a property for valuables to see if it is with burgling/where the safe is/etc? Run a cheap chopper up to the window and have a nose around?!

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Happy

Re: open source Paparazzi project

No, no, no, no, no! You're looking at it all wrong. Don't think of it as a problem, think of it as an opportunity ... for a whole new market!

Fully-automated home-defence micro-AA guns! Maybe even lasers! (Shark optional.)

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Re: Micro-AA guns

If they don't come with lasers to turn drone copters into rapidly disintegrating fireballs, I'll be sorely disappointed.

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Coat

Re: Micro-AA guns

"...turn drone copters into rapidly disintegrating fireballs..."

Done to a crisp?

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keep it up!

Its alot of these projects that drive innovation across the tech-world, before they get bought out by big multinational corporations smelling a profit once they are well enough established.

But, for now lets not sour the mood and congratulate this team on a job well done!

Keep up the good work!

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Facepalm

On the bright side it did go first class.

What do you mean you put our only prototype in the post?

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Thumb Up

Processing requirements for embedded systems are often over estimated

The processor that flew the Saturn V had about the speed of a pocket calculator. But atmospheric flight is much tougher. At this scale the draught from an open door is a hurricane.

We've come along way from the Shuttle's GPC of 100lb+ and 0.4MIPS capability.

This is clearly "Top Gear."

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Black Helicopters

"clearly Top Gear"

Sorry,

impressive as this is, "Top Gear" is already for sale.

These guys http://www.proxdynamics.com/products/pd_100_prs/ have obviously already achieved a much higher degree of integration and miniaturization, they just prefer to keep a somewhat lower profile than your usual academic research group. Only problem: you can not buy it unless you have government backing :(

Black helicopter because the gray helicopter icon is missing.

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Black Helicopters

Re: Processing requirements for embedded systems are often over estimated

IIRC, the Voyager, Viking and Galileo spacecrafts used an RCA COSMAC 1802 (radiation hardened...Silicon-on-Sapphire) that ran at 5 or 6 MHZ.

Believe it or not, Intersil still makes a version of it. A bit amazing considering it's from the 70's.

Stan

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Boffin

Re: "clearly Top Gear"

You forgot to actually read the main targets of the project being "open source" and "affordable" as to get to mass application and acceptance. By the way, did you check the prices of the PD 100? Not sure what you mean with "lower profile", the proxydynamics stuff is all over the place for a while already. But it remains exclusive, profit driven and a black box. That is: not helping innovation that much.

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Re: Processing requirements for embedded systems are often over estimated

"We've come along way from the Shuttle's GPC of 100lb+ and 0.4MIPS capability."

That was the second generation one wasn't it?

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Coat

Re: Processing requirements for embedded systems are often over estimated

Well, it *DOES* say it's a Lisa™.

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Black Helicopters

Re: "clearly Top Gear"

I did read the bit about "open source" and "low cost". However, the post I replied to described this in "leading edge" terms, and I therefore noted that leading edge was already quite a bit further.

That this comes at a price is quite clear, but the users seem quite happy with what they get for the money.

If proxydynamics has been all over the place for a while, then I have not noticed.

All in all, it is nice to see development moving ahead. Now I am only waiting for an available certified sense and avoid system, and interesting things can start to happen.

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wooo

I guess it wouldn’t be too hard to mod the software to run on your average phone with appropriate sensors.

Now I'm off to patent my spider man web shooter to collect a few of these little toys...

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So.......

an ideal opportunity for someone to deign a good jamming software app

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Re: So.......

Radio frequency overlap and interference are going to be huge headaches for 'everyday' drones. As the tech becomes more popular it is only a matter of time until control and video signals are interfering with one another in fun/disastrous ways.

Inexpensive R/C has already made flying at public R/C fields problematic. On the weekends there's always at least a few newbies who are fiddling with their kit and screwing with people who actually have models in the air.

Long story short, you don't need specialized software to jam non-military drones. You can build a high powered jamming device for about $60 in parts from a hobby shop. If you want to be a real dick you can just buy a nice variable frequency transmitter and steal aircraft right out of the sky.

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Re: So.......

Not really, if you know what you're doing you use frequency-hopping spread spectrum, it uses a whole bunch of frequencies in rotation, so if one frequency is congested or there is cross-path interference on it then the same command is sent on a different frequency. Different units use different combinations of frequencies so there's little chance of a complete overlap.

The OpenLRS project provides very inexpensive hardware which can be programmed to use UK legal frequencies at UK legal transmission power.

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Happy

Re: So.......

Frequency hopping still operates on a limited number of frequencies with low power signals all, equally subject to fairly low tech jamming. They already use localized spectrum flooding at large R/C events and at airports to keep R/C stuff on the ground.

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Nothing new....

This sized technology has been available in toys and is nothing new, just type in 'Hubsan Quad' in YouTube and you will see what I've been playing with since October 2012.

You would be amazed at the tech that the model flying community has at its disposal, the MOD advertise for our talents in our mags (can't think what they must be building, LOL).

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Happy

Re: Nothing new....

I had a Hubson for a while! It was fun. I ditched quads and went back to collective pitch helis though. I just liked them better.

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Anonymous Coward

Rducing weight to carry bigger cameras?

So the weight has been reduced from say 20g to 1.9g. Wow! I can now carry a camera that is 18.1g heavier.

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Re: Rducing weight to carry bigger cameras?

I'll pretend that you don't know what the important bits of a modern digital camera weighs...

Lets just say that 18grams can be a lot if you know how to use it.

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Re: Rducing weight to carry bigger cameras?

Even if you don't use a more complex camera setup the weight savings add a lot to flight times.

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Rol
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"Fire services

..carrying one to a disaster in their top pocket" Well that's a start.

After seeing a video of four quads playing catch and throw using a scramble net slung between them I thought, make them bigger, take a dozen to a burning skyscraper and let them catch the people who had no other escape.

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Re: "Fire services

I'd pay to watch that.

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'only' 72mhz?! Son, let me tell you, back in my day...

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can't believe I'm the first to say

"Lisa/S"?!? How long before the lawyers of a certain fruity-iconned tech firm show up and demand all the profits and patents as recompense for "name stealing?"

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WTF?

Not to poo-poo on the technology here, but I didn't find the video particularly helpful.

They show a helicoptor and a quadcopter hovering.

What were they trying to demonstrate exactly?

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