The Pixhawk is 3DR’s world famous flight control technology. It’s a flying neurosystem that automatically manages and controls UAV position, direction, orientation and speed, and can autonomously pilot your drone wherever you tell it to go along paths of virtually unlimited waypoints. Its 32-bit processor can manage all of these complex inputs, including controlling camera angle, while automatically adjusting for constant and unpredictable environmental variations in real time. While keeping a robot in the air. We secretly like to call it Skybrain.
The Pixhawk’s processor is so capable that it offers cathedral-like headroom for adding other sensors, inputs and commands, and the APM flight code that it runs is, thanks to years of selfless dedication from the world’s largest community of UAV developers, totally free and open source.
And it all fits in your palm, and costs less than $300.
For these reasons, the Pixhawk is the platform for all of 3DR’s drones. It’s also the platform of choice for some of the most successful UAV projects and companies around the world. Here’s a rundown of some of our favorites that have popped up on Kickstarter just this year.
1. AirDog, by Helico Aerospace
Follow Me technology particularly well-suited to action sports and athletic training. 3DR has recently announced a formal collaboration with the AirDog team to develop the next generation of Follow Me technology. From 3DR’s CEO Chris Anderson:
“The talented team behind AirDog have a clear technology and business vision. We’re delighted to welcome them as a premier adopter of the 3DR platform and look forward to working with them to combine our technologies for an unprecedented flight and video experience.”
AirDog raised $1,368,177, and had an initial goal of $200,000.
2. The Pocket Drone, by AirDroids
The world’s first microcopter that’s powerful enough to carry an action camera, and which folds up smaller than a 7-inch tablet. The Pocket Drone has an innovative and efficient tri-copter design, and it raised $929,212, well in excess of its $35,000 goal.
3. Anti-Poaching Wildlife Conservation UAV, by TeamAREND
TeamAREND is an international student coalition based in UC Boulder, and they’re creating a UAV system to combat African rhino poaching and illicit wildlife trafficking.
TeamAREND (“arend” is Afrikaans for “eagle”) is a project of Wildlife Protection Solutions (WPS), an international non-profit dedicated to the conservation of endangered species. Its current focus is on the five species of rhinos world-wide, with a special emphasis on creating habitat and breeding programs that will allow rhino populations to grow faster than they are being poached. 3DR is a proud sponsor of Team AREND’s cause. They had $22,403 pledged, with a $20,000 goal.
4. EasyDrone modular “plug and fly” UAV.
EasyDrone is an advanced, modular quadcopter designed for videographers that need quick, easy and affordable aerial shots. It’s easy to transport and offers quick setup without tools. EasyDrone has wireless video and camera gimbal control built in as standard features. EasyDrone had $45,627 pledged, with a $20,000 goal.
5. And lastly, but certainly not leastly, The Hoverbike, by Chris Malloy
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… (Read: A few years back in London.)
It’s not sci-fi; it’s the result of years of R&D. The Hoverbike combines the simplicity of a motorbike and the freedom of a helicopter to create the world’s first flying motorcycle. Thanks to the Pixhawk, the Hoverbike flies like a quadcopter, and it can be flown unmanned or manned.
They’ve had £40,960 pledged of a £30,000 goal, with 17 days still to go.