Below you will find a 23 minute video by kenv8 explaining the previously mentioned AR.Drone RC mod tutorial by MHeeLi on RCGroups.com in further detail.
Photographer Bo Lorentzen has made a prototype of a steady ARdrone Camera mount for the GoPro HD by using a 3D-printer. The idea was that the gimbal would provide a steadier image. After some quick prototyping Bo came to the conclusion that the AR.Drone was too light to stabilize a camera the weight of a GoPro. Unfortunately the experiment did not work as he planned but you can get an idea of what he was trying to achieve from the video below.
The Visualization and Graphics Group of the Dipartimento die Automaytica e Informatica of the Politecnico di Torino in Italy have made a natural kinect-based interface for the AR.Drone. It uses Flexible Action and Articulated Skeleton Toolkit (FAAST), PrimeSense NITE and OpenNI to interface to the kinect and DLL Drone to connect to the AR.Drone itself.
Leaning forward, backwards, to the left and to the right will make the drone move in those directions. Raising and lowering your left arm will control the drone’s height. Raising your right arm will make the drone take off as you can see in the demonstration video below.
If you wouldn’t know any better this might look like some kind of sorcerer summoning a flying object. Another video of controlling the AR.Drone by making gestures in front of a Kinect. Development was done by Tom Zickel. I have not found any details yet about what tools he used.
If you thought that the availability of AR.Drone control software on the iPad was a big step with regards to screen size wait till you see the French video below in which a drone is controlled through a table-size Microsoft Surface.
Earlier we showed you some video’s in which the AR.Drone was controlled by the Urbi SDK. In the video below the Drone follows an AR tag. The drone is controlled by a ROS program. ROS, which stands for Robot Operating System, is an open source meta operating system for robots. It is comparable to Urbi which was mentioned earlier on this blog. ROS has support for popular robots like the AR.Drone, Lego Mindstorms NXT and the WowWee Rovio and a whole range of custom bots.
In the following video an AR.Drone is controlled with a PS3 Controller hooked to a laptop running the Linux SDK.
You can record video with Display Recorder from the on board camera’s as shown in a previous post. But some people attach an external camera to their Drone to get better video quality. In the following video a tiny SD mini cam was fitted to the AR.Drone.
If you want to use custom batteries with your AR.Drone to extend the flight time you will gain extra weight with most batteries unfortunately. One thing you can do is to strip the drone from all excess material and see what weight reduction that will bring. ARDroneMods did exactly that in the video below. This bare bones version, with the front camera moved to center of the chassis, obviously will void your warranty. Not for the faint-hearted…