Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Systems (UAV/UAS) or as popularly named “DRONES”

After a year or two of flying some small hobby-grade drones (Syma X-11, X-5) including solar charging, I have moved on up to a mid-range drone – the Cheerson CX-20 (white drone below). This larger quadcopter drone is capable to lift Go-Pro sized high quality cameras and I have acquired a Go-Pro clone camera that is HD (1080p), 2.7K and 4K video capable to continue my adventures with aerial imaging, GPS navigation and remote operational testing.

Shipyard 1 Diagram Illustration

Concept here looks good…

Space Workbench

Shipyard 1 Diagram: This construction platform integrates a large scalable 3D printer system, enabling construction of cutting edge in-orbit, which could one day lead to thousands of people living in space as a result of the enormous lightweight pressurized volumes that could be eventually produced utilizing returned asteroid materials from a vibrant asteroid mining industry. Products fabricated include cubesats, paneling, trusses, telescope arrays, vessel furniture and domicile products, and more. Perhaps the most important capability, the production of lightweight paneling and shielding, which can be transformed into large open volumes for LEO colonization, will drive demand for asteroid returned resource materials in the 21st century.

Introducing the latest rendering concept diagram. All Rights Reserved. 2015. (c)(TM).

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So a couple years back I took a online System Engineering course taught by NASA and others (SSE101: Survey of Systems Engineering) and the topic of the end of course project was a robotic Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission. Here is a concept we used derived from SpaceX. I will see if I can find the project research files and final paper for download, if you are interested in more details than just the graphic just post a reply on my WordPress blog and let me know.



Car style steering RC car robot drive train for Bentcreek Robotics Studio


Found a R/C car drive to make a robot drive train using the Ackermann (“car style”) steering mechanism! In this type of drive, all the wheels move in the same direction: forward or backwards.  Steering is accomplished by turning the front wheels such that all the robot turns in an arc around a single turning point.

Most of the robots (including those built at the Bentcreek Studio) have been the common skid steer type of competition robotics drivetrain sometimes referred to as “tank drive” (since it is commonly used on tanks).  Wheels on the right side and the left side of the drive are powered by separate motors and wheels are locked pointing forward/backward and do not steer.  Steering is accomplished by varying the speed of the different sides (i.e. if the right side goes forward very fast, and the left side goes forward slowly – the robot turns left).

You can learn more in a book I still find is a good resource for newbie’s building their own robots from the old Tab ‘Robot DNA Series’ still available on Amazon:


Arduino and the Taos TSL230R Light Sensor: Getting Started

Interesting little device here that will detect light levels similar to a light meter…

The Roaming Drone

The TSL230R light sensor IC is an interesting package: a light sensing circuit wrapped up in a clear plastic casing. This neat little device will convert irradiance (the light energy on the surface of the sensor) into frequency. Working with a simple input concept like a frequency means that we won’t have to build any extra circuitry to get the full range of information from the circuit, and having an accurate measure of radiance means that we’ll be able to convert easily over to illuminance, which is how the light looks to us. Obviously, once we can answer the question about how light looks, we can use this information to control other things. (Some great examples are: camera exposure, dimming displays, machine vision, etc.)

This guide is intended to walk you through the basics of interfacing the TSL230 series of chips from Taos with your friendly Arduino microcontroller. The…

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