Saturday, November 14, 2015

Getting Started

I read about some of the Google and Amazon package delivery drones a few weeks ago and I've been interested in learning more about what drones are and why they're in the news so much.

I spent a weekend reading up about hobby fliers, what they fly, and what technology they use to it.

Seems that the hobby breaks down in a few dimensions such as:

  • Fixed-wing versus quad copter.
  • FPV or not.
  • Long distance or not.

Some of the technology behind these systems is very impressive.

High-end radio control systems can operate these craft 100km away.  The video systems can transmit real-time video back to the operator to control at those distances.  Notably the video the operator sees in real-time isn't what gets published online, that's a HD camera strapped to the nose, what they see is fairly grainy.

Quad copters and even fixed-wing seem to have a number of sensors which assist with balance and control in-range, as well as auto-pilot systems and fail-safes which return the craft home if it goes out of range.

I think controlling these devices at long-range is interesting.  Some of the articles I read about Google and Amazon indicate that control over the internet may be the way those systems operate.

Control over the internet at long-distance seems plausible provided they're staying at an altitude which still receives service, which the 500ft ceiling seems likely to.

I'd like to play around with some of the technology at use here so this blog was created to keep notes and mark progress.

My aim is to learn to control various related electronics, locally and remotely over the internet.  Hopefully in learning these devices I will increase my familiarity with circuits and control systems, and interesting or useful ideas will come to mind about how to apply them.

This blog was created Nov 28, 2015, when I had actually started reading around Nov 14, 2015.