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November 13, 2014 AT 1:30 am

First Ascent – Hobbyist Friendly, Autonomous, Compact, 3D Printed, Scout Drone #3DThursday #3DPrinting

Jonathan Meringer shared a very unusual drones project with us: “This is a video of the development of a 3D printed, autonomous scout drone. At its heart is the Teensy 3.1 as well as the MPU-9150 IMU and BMP180 barometer.”

First Ascent – Hobbyist Friendly, Autonomous Drone.

Drones are offering unprecedented aerial perspectives to amateurs, but their awkward shapes, high price and reliance on support equipment often make them impractical.  Our mission at Backcountry Drones is to develop a product to compliment your current interests, not replace them.  This requires a drone which is reliable, easy to use and can live its life moving from car seat to equipment bag and back again.

…This scout drone is about having an aerial aide always with you for any outdoor excursion.  Designed to be hand launched and run autonomously, the First Ascent is capable of quickly ascending to several hundred feet where it can capture an aerial image of your surroundings before returning.

The First Ascent’s compact body and simple design is due to its co-axial configuration.  It requires just two motors and speed controllers which reduces the total size, weight and complexity compared to traditional multirotors.  Additionally, the co-axial design allows the drone’s components in be located along a central shaft where they are easily protected by an outer aerodynamic shell….

Read More.

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Featured Adafruit Product!

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Teensy 3.1 + header: Teensy 3.1 is a small, breadboard-friendly development board designed by Paul Stoffregen and PJRC. Teensy 3.1 brings a low-cost 32 bit ARM Cortex-M4 platform to hobbyists, students and engineers, using an adapted version of the Arduino IDE (Teensyduino) or programming directly in C language. Teensy 3.1 is an upgrade over 3.0: now with 64K of RAM, 256K of Flash, 5V tolerant digital inputs, 12 bit DAC, dual ADC, and CAN bus support. Teensy 3.1 is a drop-in replacement upgrade for 3.0 and can run any sketches designed for 3.0. Based on a 32 bit ARM chip, Teensy 3.1 aims to greatly increase the computing capability and peripheral features, but maintain the same easy-to-use platform that has made Teensy 2.0 so successful. (read more)


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Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!

Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!

The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! We also offer the LulzBot TAZ – Open source 3D Printer and the Printrbot Simple Metal 3D Printer in our store. If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!


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