Drones everywhere

The crazy summer sun meant we had to take a family trip to Basingstoke shopping mall to get out of the heat. There we found that Modelzone was having a closing down sale. Another casualty of the recession. It is a pity as it is a treasure trove of interesting things.
We already have a couple of RC cars including the Beast from Cool Stuff Collective series 1 but I couldn’t help getting a few new RC and IR vehicles for the family to play with in the new garden.
The first was a Nikko RC dirt bike. It is a funny little device as it needs to get up to speed usually by facing the wrong direction. Two stabilising wings near the ground then mean it has trouble on the rough stuff. I did a little vine of it working.

However I also bought a very much reduced Tamco Ev.03 RC helicopter slung with a small video camera and microsd slot.
Ev.03 micro copter and camera
Ev.03 micro copter and camera
They did try and get me to buy the full remote TV version of a copter. RC with a live video feed to the handset but I thought I might as well get a Parrot AR drone if I was going to do that. No the micro copter would do just fine.
It is surprisingly difficult to get to fly in the first place, in part that was because I was trying outdoors in the sunlight. Its small form means it is prone to wind shear and being an IR control the 31C sunlight was causing it some confusion. It manifests itself by rising up on throttle out of shadow to about 10 feet then deciding the sunlight is asking it for more power. So a few times we nearly lost it to the next door neighbours German Shepherds.
However tonight, it was still and stormy, the sun had set and I managed the longest non-crashing, non loss of control flight yet.

Bear in mind this is a simple £30 micro helicopter with a tiny camera on board. The quality I think is pretty amazing.
I don’t think all the apache gunships that fly over Basingstoke will be bothered but I amd now thinking I need a bigger and better RC helicopter/drone arrangement. one that works in sunlight. Also once with a nice API that I can get code doing interesting things or flying it in time with the kinect.
Next I need to work on exciting camera angles like those in the game replays 🙂

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