Advancements in UAV Land, The Bokode Project, and Some New Stuff

Advancements in our UAVs, a new optical tag system called the Bokode, and new products.

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There are some really interesting things happening in the UAV community.

The DIYDrones crew and the Ardupilot are featured on last month's Make Magazine. The Ardupilot project is really taking off with new expansion boards, sensors, GPS modules, and more intelligent firmware.

Bill Premerlani's UAV Development platform is making huge advancements in its flight control firmware. Along with creating an algorithm for maintaining an accurate estimate of the direction cosine matrix, the UAV Devboard now has the ability to use 5 PWM inputs and 6 PWM outputs, truly opening the door for almost any UAV application.

The Bokode Project from MIT's Camera Culture group - a new camera based interaction solution where an ordinary camera can detect small optical tags from a relatively large distance. I really can't explain how cool this new technology is in a short blog post, so watch this video.

Onto new products:

The ADXL193 is a 250g accelerometer; this is the breakout board. If you happen to use the full scale range of the accelerometer please let us know what kind of project you are working on. We would love to see 250g's in action!

This is a really neat little board that we have been searching for for quite sometime. Uses a JPEG color camera and easy to use UART interface. Really simple and really small, imagine the possibilities!

BOB for the GP1A57HRJ00F Photo Interrupter.

These hoodies came from our printer with the incorrect logo. So if you're looking for a cheap large hoodie, this one has a fancy SparkFun logo on it. Gangsta.

A couple more projects:   

Cornell University has been compiling ATMega microcontroller projects from their "Designing with Microcontrollers" class for a decade now. The list now boasts over 350 projects, many of which include SparkFun products. This years projects include a 3D mouse, Haptic appointment manager, fart detector (, tissue impedance biopsy system, and several interesting musical instruments.

Here is a fun project that uses the PIC-LCD board from Olimex to create stopwatch/timer. Nice work Dave!

Comments 6 comments

  • Jairman / about 15 years ago / 1

    How do I find out more about the Ardupilot and if it would possibly work with RC Helicopters? I will do a search online but didn't notice anything else on this specific site. Anyone have any information?

  • narpat / about 15 years ago / 1

    Why the Green board (with Analog Devices's Gyros) of UAV v2 Development Platform is not available from Sparkfun ?
    The Gyros on the board are highly prone to vibrations which causes sevre errors in the flight.
    Hope someone from Sparkfun responds it quickly.

  • DaveTheYellowDart / about 15 years ago / 1

    Wow, that Bokode idea is really cool. Kind of like a lensless microscope with a twist. All kinds of applications come to mind... Thanks guys, I really didn't need more projects added to my pile! ;)
    As for the 250g accelerometer, I used one a couple of years ago on a project involving a high-power rocket launched from a pneumatic cannon (the "Jujubee" project). The cannon would fire the rocket into the air at about 240 ft/s in my tests, and the high-g accelerometer would detect that spike and use it to initiate the rocket motor ignition (an "I"-impulse motor). I didn't log the data except max acceleration, but the simulations were predicting it would experience about 300 gees if I were to go to full cannon pressure. At my low pressures I think I only experienced about half that. The only way I ever saw 300 gees was by smacking the PCB sharply against a hard object. I'll have to revisit that project one day and put the 500g sensors through their paces!

  • Erazmus / about 15 years ago / 1

    Can someone tell me which Cornell University project is the right-most picture above - the clock one? I can't seem to find it on the page linked from the image.

    • random_droid / about 15 years ago / 1

      Scratch that. It's #28 POV Display (MP4), not 26.
      I don't know why I accidentally typed 26.

    • random_droid / about 15 years ago / 1

      It's #26: POV Display (MP4).

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