Bart Remes and his colleagues designed and built the automated Micro Aerial Vehicle (MAV) named Lisa/S. By using open source technology, they hope to give the public a chance to develop variations of the flying robot. [CREDIT: Delft University of Technology]
A team of experts at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands have produced the world's smallest automated processor for unmanned aircrafts by using open source technology. The autopilot weighs less than two grams, making it easy to use drones in search and rescue missions.
Bart Remes and his colleagues designed and built the automated Micro Aerial Vehicle (MAV) named Lisa/S with open source technology to give the public a chance to develop variations of the flying robot. Remes hopes the technology will be used largely in everyday activities as it offers a range of applications useful to everyone, from farmers to firefighters to aerospace engineers. For years, 'only the military had access to this type of technology.'
'Our aim is to make MAVs as commonplace as smartphones and laptops. Farmers can use MAVs to inspect crops, for example. Our dream is that every firefighter carries a MAV in his breast pocket to use for inspections of collapsed or burning buildings without having to go inside,' Remes says.
The Lisa/S includes a gyroscope, accelerometer, altimeter, GPS, and an ARM processor. It uses Superbitrf, a software specially programmed by the MAV experts to keep the robot connected to a ground station and remote control transmitter. The software is patterned after the open source system of the Paparazzi. The only downside for now is that the processor cannot provide continuous data links; instead, it functions autonomously.
Because the chip is lighter, the drone can carry additional equipment, such as sensors and cameras.
The MAV Laboratory at the Delft University of Technology have completed similar projects in the past. One of their earlier inventions was the DelFly, a small drone with flapping wings similar to those of a dragonfly. The Lisa/S is the team's latest project.
The US electronics company 1Bitsquared helped design the Lisa/S, which will come out in the market in January 2014.
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