June 11, 2007 6:59 PM   Subscribe

Sub $1000 UAV. Wired editor, author and blogger Chris Anderson[wiki] built a sub $1000 UAV from a model airplane and a Lego mindstorms robotics kit. The drone flies itself, all you do is punch in a direction (and eventually, GPS coordinates). I don't know if it's technically Open Source, but you can definitely download instructions and code.
posted by delmoi (14 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Countdown to Fox News finding out about this and calling him a terrorist-enabling traitor in 3..2..
posted by Eddie Mars at 7:06 PM on June 11, 2007

Seriously, though this is amazing stuff. Next step is to add a web-cam, I'm sure.
posted by Eddie Mars at 7:10 PM on June 11, 2007

Eddie: There's a cam onboard already. Did you mean a live web-enabled cam?
posted by delmoi at 7:14 PM on June 11, 2007

Does it come with a bear?
posted by phaedon at 7:17 PM on June 11, 2007

Metafilter: The lego autopilot is engaged.
posted by odinsdream at 8:35 PM on June 11, 2007 [1 favorite]

*squeals with delight*
posted by brundlefly at 9:26 PM on June 11, 2007

It seems that difference between this and that Kiwi bloke who got his website shutdown seems to be that the Kiwi bloke actually used the words 'cruise missile', while Wired stuck with 'drone'. Also, I could read the Kiwi bloke's site, while Wired cunnigly obscure the text with irritating, uncloseable ads.
posted by pompomtom at 10:17 PM on June 11, 2007

Breaking news: Dad makes model plane for son to fly.
posted by humblepigeon at 12:06 AM on June 12, 2007

What humblepigeon said. (Tho I should say I'm from a place where everyone makes model airplanes and then they have dog fights...It's kinda cool).
posted by MarshallPoe at 5:11 AM on June 12, 2007

Eddie Mars: Next step is to add a web-cam

No, next step is to add a fully-automatic shotgun (yt).

Also, it has to be said...: "Drone! Drone! Drone! Pilotless Drone!" (yt)
posted by LordSludge at 6:24 AM on June 12, 2007

Live cameras, of course. Wi-fi connection back to the ground. I'm thinking of something like the miniature blimps from that Gibson book (Pattern Recognition?). Mount a decent quality camera on one of these and just have it circle over large crowds, filming everything that happens. The cost of this is cheap enough that even a small news outlet could afford to maintain a fleet of these. Pull up in your news van and send out a small swarm.
posted by Eddie Mars at 7:17 AM on June 12, 2007

Sure, but when one malfunctions and falls into the crown, decapitating somebody's grandmother?
posted by IronLizard at 10:59 AM on June 12, 2007

But think of the ratings! Tonight on Action News 6, flying cameras: could they kill you? Exclusive footage tonight at 11.
posted by Eddie Mars at 11:39 AM on June 12, 2007

So, I wonder how much explosives you can pack into the thing?

Just askin' ...
posted by Relay at 7:06 PM on June 12, 2007

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