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frist ptos (-1, Offtopic)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666948)

Does one of the games involve getting a first post? I'll probably be totally awesome at it.

An iPod? (2, Interesting)

c0mpliant (1516433) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667006)

Seriously, if other games controls on the iPod are anything to go by, I wouldn't want to be controlling a helicopter with spinning rotor blades, with an iPod

Re:An iPod? (1)

RobVB (1566105) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667062)

Now imagine a drunk person who REALLY wants to fly a helicopter.

Re:An iPod? (3, Interesting)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667084)

It seems pretty stable from the video. I wonder how well this electronically-stabilised-quadricopter technology would scale to, say, human-sized? :D I did a bit of research on blade loadings and suchforth and it seems that a helicopter weighing 200kg with pilot would need 30-40kW to lift off, can anyone with more experience confirm or deny? I'd love to see something with the same format but, say, 2m long, powered by nanophosphate lithium batteries with a 5-10min flight time.

Of course the AR stuff is also cool. I bet there's a market for that... run a service where your users print a specific patterned logo in a print ad, register it with your site, and on a phone running the right application the pattern loads a video or even 3D virtual animated object anchored to the logo.

Re:An iPod? (3, Insightful)

Heavy Machinery (65932) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667098)

You hit the nail on the head: the problem is power/weight. Looking at the specs http://www.parrot.com/parrot-ar-drone/en/how-does-it-work#start/ [parrot.com] it looks like the batteries are expensive lithium-ion-polymer with "15 minutes battery autonomy", which I assume is a fancy way of saying that you get 15 minutes run flying time between recharging.

Re:An iPod? (1)

nietsch (112711) | more than 4 years ago | (#30672064)

that is quite long actually. Discharge rates of 10 or 20C are not uncommon. That leaves you 6 or 3 minutes of fun. These kind of batteries are pretty cheap, so you can just put in a fresh battery and go fly again. But that leaves of something important: most of the video is an obvious fake animation, not the real thing flying. Adding all this stuff like wifi and a camera is feasible, but not for a toy. Maybe they have a real product, but I want to see some real footage from the cam while flying. In the video where they show something real interacting with humans, the pilot has to look at the craft, not at his screen.

Re:An iPod? (1)

Flere Imsaho (786612) | more than 4 years ago | (#30674258)

"Expensive" LiPo batteries? You don't know what you're talking about, check the prices at www.hobbyking.com and I think you'll be surprised how cheap they have become in the last year.

As with most LiPo powered RC gear, just buy multiple sets of batteries and a good balancing charger.

Re:An iPod? (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 4 years ago | (#30677644)

Wow, they have come down a lot! I guess no-one wants those lame old LiPolys now that cool new LiFePO4 ones are in town.

Would 'most LiPo powered RC gear'? include, say... Special Circumstances drones? ;)

I Fly e- powered R/C (2, Interesting)

DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) | more than 4 years ago | (#30686188)

The drones are allready there. You can put an R/C plane in the air in 1 hr for about $200 to take ariel video.

Spend ~700 you can get FPV AV and still pics and a gyro stabalized plane.

Spend ~900 and you can get FPV, and data logging including path traveled, altitude, airspeed, and gps.

Spend 1K (that's most of our payechecks) and you can get all the above with waypoints and return to home.

Spend just another hundred more, and you can power that setup for over 45 min. in the air. Oh, and it's silent. Next to no noise as percieved from the ground.

It's pretty scary actually, but I love how inexpensive the hobby has gotten. I'm not into the telemetry side yet, but I've done AV. I'm more of a speed / 3D freak at the moment. I've got a 100mph plane whose power setup was about $120 from a place in hong kong. I can fly it top speed for about 7 min or pulse glide for over 1/2 hr. It's sweet!

Re:An iPod? (2, Informative)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667378)

Stability is mainly a problem for small, toy-sized craft. Another reason why multiple rotors are used is so that they can cancel out each others torque, so you don't need a tail-rotor. Personal aircraft similar to what you described have been made like these
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VZ-1_Pawnee [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SoloTrek_XFV [wikipedia.org]

They obviously don't run on batteries. I don't know what the largest battery-powered craft ever made is, but even for model planes they were totally impractical just a few years ago.

Re:An iPod? (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 4 years ago | (#30668740)

Well, I did come across this [hecopter.com] strange contraption. Basically a swarm of bees carrying a chair, except each bee is a cordless drill and they're strapped to a grid. :P

Re:An iPod? (2, Interesting)

goodmanj (234846) | more than 4 years ago | (#30670826)

for model planes they were totally impractical just a few years ago.

Not true anymore. One of the side effects of the cell phone revolution is that their high-tech batteries and the micro-motors that make the phone vibrate allow you to build some great electric aircraft.

http://www.ezonemag.com/ [ezonemag.com]

Re:An iPod? (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 4 years ago | (#30677848)

I can't help thinking that the "just a few years ago" clause implied understanding that, as you say, this has now changed.

These guys [sonexaircraft.com] seem to be pretty happy with the basic idea of a Cessna-scale light plane powered by lithium batteries. And I so very much want one.

Re:An iPod? (1)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 4 years ago | (#30670528)

I did my doctoral thesis on quadrotors - specifically large quadrotors. The issues involved actually extend beyond thrust/weight ratio. For this kind of fixed-pitch rotor, the maximum size is actually dictated by the ability to speed up and slow down the rotor to affect pitch and roll motion, and thus stabilise the aircraft in the air. It's exceptionally hard to build a vehicle much larger than 10 kg with that rotor arrangement.

If you move to collective control, then you can make your rotor arbitrarily large. To reduce the power needs of the helicopter, you simply make the rotor bigger. However, by the time you get around to something you can fly on, the complexity of the rotor heads really makes it much more desirable to simply have a single rotor, rather than four - and voila, you have a helicopter.

Re:An iPod? (1)

goodmanj (234846) | more than 4 years ago | (#30670658)

For a 200-kg copter, 30-40 kW sounds about right from my calculations too. Your average top-of-the-line Li-ion battery has a specific power density of 1000 W/kg and 200 W-h/kg: 40 kg of batteries would give you enough power to lift off and 12 minutes of flight time.

Now, the only problem is fitting four electric motors with 13 horsepower each, power electronics, and a carbon composite frame into the remaining 60 kg...

Oh, and figuring out how to not die when the batteries run out.

Re:An iPod? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30667178)

Seriously, if other games controls on the iPod are anything to go by, I wouldn't want to be controlling a helicopter with spinning rotor blades, with an iPod

iPod Touch has the same accelerometer as the iPhone. The controls for it are pretty damn good if the apps are coded properly. Most people got a taste of iPhone gaming controls with Super Monkey Ball game which wasn't the greatest demo of the control capabilities. But today there are lots of apps that take full advantage of the tilt controls with amazing precision. See Labirinth [codify.se] for example.

The reason why iPhone/iPod touch makes such a great controller is because of the accelerometer's high sampling rate. It tops out at 400hz per second. Compare that with Palm Pre where the SDK has the sample rate pegged at 4 hz. That's four [pairsite.com] samples per second. In other words, unusable for anything serious.

The only problem I'm seeing here is the range of the wifi signal which limits the coverage area.

Re:An iPod? (2, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667734)

The reason why iPhone/iPod touch makes such a great controller is because of the accelerometer's high sampling rate. It tops out at 400hz

I've been saying for months that the iPhone would make a great autopilot. It's cheap, it's light, it's got hours of battery life, it has GPS + compass + acceleration sensing, and the USB on the dock connector could easily be adapted to any of the USB servo controllers that are available off the shelf.

-jcr

Re:An iPod? (0, Redundant)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667870)

I've been saying for months that the iPhone would make a great autopilot. It's cheap, it's light, it's got hours of battery life, it has GPS + compass + acceleration sensing

Shhhh! Imagine how useful that might be to terrori
BRB. Doo#[7"@~
# no carrier

Re:An iPod? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30668162)

terroitas?

Re:An iPod? (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#30669568)

Loads of phones could do that, and even better, some of them would be cheaper.

Re:An iPod? (1)

spydum (828400) | more than 4 years ago | (#30672196)

not to mention the integrated camera for recording video or stills.. it's an interesting proposition for sure

Re:An iPod? (2, Interesting)

tolan-b (230077) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667958)

The default software comes for iPhone/iPod but they've published an API and open sourced the demos. Good on them, this thing has great potential, hope it doesn't cost too much :)

Scale it up! (2, Funny)

jcr (53032) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667190)

Once that device has a five-mile range and can carry a pizza and a six-pack, its market potential is enormous.

-jcr

Re:Scale it up! (1)

Entropy98 (1340659) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667210)

Once that device has a five-mile range and can carry a pizza and a six-pack, its market potential is enormous.

It wouldn't be long before someone strapped a gun and/or bomb to something like that.

Re:Scale it up! (1)

hvm2hvm (1208954) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667532)

So? Some sick fucks strapped bombs and guns on airplanes, does that mean we shouldn't have invented them?

Re:Scale it up! (1)

JTsyo (1338447) | more than 4 years ago | (#30669216)

And some strap it on themselves, does that mean we shouldn't reproduce?

Re:Scale it up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30671554)

Look leave my personal life out of this.

I don't care who you are, I can strap on anything I please, as long as you don't have to see me walking down the beach wearing it.

Re:Scale it up! (1)

hvm2hvm (1208954) | more than 4 years ago | (#30672836)

So, are you agreeing with me or not? :P

Re:Scale it up! (1, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667704)

People have already filled cars and trucks up with far more explosive power than you could put aboard a flying delivery droid.

Anyhow, since the government has armed UAVs, civilians should, too. There's a reason why our constitution prohibits the government from having a monopoly on weapons.

-jcr

Re:Scale it up! (1)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 4 years ago | (#30669012)

I think one of these could be flown into a restricted area more easily.
10 of these is still cheaper than a car. And safer to use, as you don't have to blow yourself up with it.

Area 51 (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#30669640)

In the back of my mind, I've always wondered why someone hasn't flown a UAV into Area 51

Re:Area 51 (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 4 years ago | (#30670058)

Maybe one of these UAVs [youtube.com] ?

That might confuse them.

Re:Scale it up! (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 4 years ago | (#30677642)

I think one of these could be flown into a restricted area more easily.

Maybe, but you could take it out with a shotgun, and you can't do that to a mortar round.

-jcr

Re:Scale it up! (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667252)

Or explosives/anthrax etc. Coming soon to a government building near you!

Re:Scale it up! (2, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667298)

Yep its what the US does best:

  • Music
  • Microcode
  • High speed pizza delivery

Video Latency (2, Interesting)

Plazmid (1132467) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667206)

Now the question is, is the video coming out of this thing in real time or near real time(laggy)? Soldiers testing man portable reconnaissance UAVs found the latency of near-real time video to be extremely annoying....

Re:Video Latency (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30667534)

My company worked on this project as an external contractor.

We've done the AR software embedded in the drone, as well as the Robot Fighting demo on the iPhone.

I can say that for the moment the video stream is not perfect, and quite annoying for a quality AR experience.

But this project will not be sold until several months, I hope it will be improved.

Re:Video Latency (1)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667614)

How did you do the AR? I thought Apple didn't allow anyone to tap the video stream which is why most AR apps are just video overlays. I want to see more cool AR games! :)

Re:Video Latency (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30667684)

The video stream is processed on the drone before being sent to the iPhone.

The pose estimation (3D matrices) is sent along the navigation and control data.

We also hope to see more AR games on the iPhone, but currently Apple is locking the real time video processing...

But there are other AR capable devices out there :)

You can see some demos of our work on our blog :

http://www.int13.net/blog/en/

and here

http://www.mobile-augmented-reality.com/

Re:Video Latency (1)

ServerIrv (840609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30669238)

First of all, thanks for the information. It's always cool to get the behind the scenes look. Second, why post AC when you then link back to your company?

Re:Video Latency (1)

Tacvek (948259) | more than 4 years ago | (#30673968)

I'm just a bit confused about this. The Iphone controled UAV aspect makes perfect sense. But what is with adding AR games on top? Sure some limited AR-like features make sense, modeling the HUD overlays that a pilot would use. But I would think adding an AR game onto the copter would just make things too complicated.

I mean an AR game like the zombie game that was part of marketing for some phone chipset several months back was interesting and made sense. It used the camera to allow quick and accurate assessment of the location of the phone vs the physical game-map. The underlying game could almost be done without AR but limits in gyros and GPS would not let the motion be sensitive enough, so making it a VR game make sense.

With the helicopter though it sounds as though nothing being done for the games could not be just simulated, using the same controls to move the a simulated helicopter around. So AR games for the helicopter just sounds like it is adding one more thing to go wrong. (Actually adding a few things to go wrong, the helicopter itself, as well as the image recognition, video stream overlaying etc, none of which would be needed in the same game without using an AR helicopter.)

So in conclusion the helicopter as a UAV sounds cool, using it in AR games though sounds questionable.

Re:Video Latency (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30667580)

See this link for the video you get on the ipod side:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gP26CE8VEiE&feature=related

Augmented Reality Stuff inside (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30667422)

Hi,

I'm the boss of the company which created the computer vision software embedded in the drone, and also the Augmented Reality game demo on the iPhone.

You can check it out here :
http://www.int13.net/ardrone-the-first-flying-toy-using-augmented-reality/en/

I have to post it here, 'cause they don't seem to credit us for our hard work...

friST stop (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30667626)

I'm disc05sing

Cars (2, Interesting)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#30668354)

Back when I was a kid, I never understood why they could make a game like gameboy camera, but they couldn't trade out that camera for an antenna connected to a car with a camera on it.

I suppose we still don't have it thanks to privacy concerns, but it would be so badass.

Re:Cars (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 4 years ago | (#30671136)

Back when I was a kid, I never understood why they could make a game like gameboy camera, but they couldn't trade out that camera for an antenna connected to a car with a camera on it.

I suppose we still don't have it thanks to privacy concerns, but it would be so badass.

Well, you can get RC vehicles with cameras - cars and planes are popular. The car ones are usually with a separate wireless camera/receiver combination. The airplane ones usually are part of sophisticated avionics so they can overlay instrumentation data on the video (heading, GPS coordinates, altitude, speed, etc).

But for real life... you've heard all the controversy over the Google Street View, right?

WIFI range?! (2, Interesting)

An anonymous Frank (559486) | more than 4 years ago | (#30668604)

I'm having trouble finding what I think is the essential stat: (battery life is 15 minutes, but) what is the wifi range?

Re:WIFI range?! (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 4 years ago | (#30677144)

Price would be good as well. Also availability, which is not talked about at all on their stupid company page.

I'm calling fake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30670480)

They faked this video. The guy "flying" that thing with his iPhone is employing way too much body english to properly control a model helicopter. I'm not saying it's not possible, but I am saying that the "pilot" in the video is only acting. The real pilot is somewhere off-camera.

This is stealth/viral marketing for something else... perhaps the drone thing itself, with a normal controller. But forget about the iPhone controller, that's not real.

tag: hunterkiller (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30670810)

hunterkiller

uh oh (1)

cstacy (534252) | more than 4 years ago | (#30671902)

Oh, crap. There's a giant robot attacking our secret outposts and we're resorting to recruiting Enders.

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