Easy Drone – the first modular plug-and-fly aerial solutionq

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Easy Drone – new, proprietary design makes it incredibly easy to transport and assemble. Modular and ready to fly out of the box.

EasyDrone is an advanced, modular quadcopter designed for videographers that need quick, easy and affordable aerial shots. It is convenient to transport and quick setup without tools. EasyDrone has wireless video and camera gimbal control built in as standard features.

Functional design that stands out

It has been noted that 2014 is the year of the drone and for a good reason. If you look around you will find a number of drone options for different applications.

However you will notice that all existing multirotors kind of look alike. They are rigid, not modular and hard to take apart for transportation. If you want advanced features like video stream and gimbal options – brace yourself for a spaghetti of wires that you’ll have to deal with every time you want to deploy.

Easy as…

I took a radically different approach with Easy Drone challenging existing design patterns and the result is taking drone design to a whole new level. On top of that I made all of the features that I often wanted to use already built in:

  • wireless video
  • on screen display
  • telemetry
  • gimbal control
  • camera power

KEY FEATURES

1. Unique lightweight frame – It’s self-supporting™ carbon frame is a proprietary design never before utilized on quadcopters. It makes transportation and assembly a breeze while providing incredible strength.

2. One compact command unit – Easy Drone’s command unit (Fly Bot) has all the features you need built in and no wires! It’s a true plug-and-fly solution.

3. Use one Fly Bot with multiple frames – Pre-programmed, tuned settings for any combination of motors and blades. Just wirelessly load new settings and it will be optimized for your new build.

Example: I like to use larger props and slower motors for the gimbal and faster ones for FPV flying.

4. Auto tuning for any configuration – with a flip of a switch you can make the Easy Drone determine it’s own best settings, no manual tuning necessary.

5. Six flying modes – EasyDrone can be flown in any one of the six flying modes with a flip of the switch.

6. Telemetry module built in – Connect to your computer or tablet to wirelessly change settings or set path points.

7. Video stream is not an option – it comes standard – Feel free to turn it off, but it is built in to every FlyBot so you can plug in any camera feed and see the live stream on the ground.

8. Camera battery never runs out – Power the camera in flight while transmitting video from it. Uses the main battery for power.

9. Important flight data on your video screen – See altitude, speed, battery status and dozens of other data points superimposed on your preview video.

The Easy Drone story

I made my first robot when I was 10 by combining parts from several RC toys my parents bought me. Since then I have been fascinated with remotely controlled machines where flying RC robots make the ultimate feat.

Idea development

It has been six months from the first napkin sketch to first functional prototype. Another few months of testing and tuning followed.

I have tried many existing aerial videography solutions, but couldn’t find one that was modular, easily customizable and had necessary features built in to it. Easy Dronewas developed to offer a modular solution for professional videographers and a fresh approach to drone design.

How is it better?

What you need from your aircraft for filming aerial video:

  • ease of transportation and deployment
  • flexibility in terms of lift power (different cameras) and maneuverability
  • certain features (like wireless video) built-in, not added-on
  • and you certainly DON’T want to deal with wires

Easy Drone is a modular multirotor drone that pushes the envelope when it comes to customization for different flying needs because one control unit can be used with any frame (combination of motors and props).

This allows you to go from a fast flyer to a slower, heavy lift by just plugging the control unit (Fly Bot) onto a different frame.

What has been done so far:

  • Created 9 iterations of working prototypes
  • Speed controllers/Motors/Battery combination performance testing
  • Selected  flight controller system
  • Video link selection and testing
  • On-Screen-Display module selection and testing
  • Radio telemetry module
  • Tune hardware and software
  • Program radio controller
  • Finalize production design
  • Develop assembly capability

What we are planning to do (pending successful campaign)

  • Expand our current shop o handle demand
  • Secure alternative sources and vendors
  • Order parts and components
  • Marketing materials (instructions, packaging, etc.)
  • Produce training videos and post on our website

Production timeline for 2014

The Goal :: Why KickStarter?

Our goal is to make the Easy Drone a standard piece of equipment for photographers and videographers who like to shoot aerial videos. To make this a reality we need your support to set up mass production and get Easy Drones into the hands of you early adopters. We are confident that your experience will be our best recommendation.

Technical specs

There are two different frames that we offer at this time – L and XL. See their specs below. We will be coming out with many more different frames because with the Easy Drone there is an infinite number of combinations.

  • Assembled weight (without camera) – 2.5lb (L) or 3lb (XL)
  • Maneuverable camera weight – 1lb (L) or 1.5lb (XL)
  • Autopilot – APM 2.6
  • External GPS + Compass
  • Telemetry freq. – 433 MHz
  • Video link freq. – 5.8 GHz
  • Radio freq. – 2.4 GHz
  • On-Screen-Display: MinimOSD Rev. 1.1
  • Battery monitor/power regulator
  • Power – 3S LiPo 11.1V battery
  • Remote – 12V LiFe battery

Flight times:

  • All features on (camera power, gimbal power, video link on) – approx. 12 minutes
  • Gimbal on – approx. 14 minutes
  • No additional equipment – approx. 16 minutes

Flying time greatly depends on the battery, the amount of wind, style of flying and load so it’s hard to say precisely what you’ll get out of it. The above are some averages we have encountered so far. We are actively looking for the optimal battery/motor/prop combination to extend flying time.

REWARD PACKAGES

RC:  Each ready-to-fly package comes with a custom programmed Turnigy 9X radio with all the functions pre-loaded. If you are an experienced RC user feel free to modify to your preference.

Batteries: You will receive one LiPo battery for the drone and one LiFe battery for the remote that greatly extends it’s use time (4X). This is one thing I have found super useful in the field.

Video link: Every package containing a Fly Bot comes with a linked video receiver with two standard video outputs. Feel free to bind the Fly Bot directly to your monitor with receiver or just plug in a screen of your choice.

You will be able to purchase a 7″ screen as an add-on option later on our website – www.easyaerial.com

1) A wink and a nod – $1

  • Let us know you like our project by pledging just $1. It means a lot to know that we have hit a chord with you.

2) Ready-to-Fly Package L  – $895

In other words: BYO-GoPro (bring your own sports action camera and fly). Includes the following:

  • 1x Frame with KV 935 motors and 8″ props
  • 1x Fly Bot control unit
  • 1x Lipo battery pack (for the drone)
  • 1x Life battery pack (for the remote)
  • 1x Lipo/Life battery Charger
  • 1x Telemetry USB dongle
  • 1x GoPro video+power cable
  • 1x Video link receiver
  • 1x Snap-on GoPro mount
  • 1x Snap-on gimbal mount
  • 1x Nine channel radio controller with 6 flying modes

3) Ready-to-Fly Package XL – $1095

This frame can lift heavier cameras like SONY NEX any model, Panasonic GH any model, Black magic pocket camera with standard Sony lens. (up to 20 Oz)

  • 1x Frame with KV 800 motors and 10″ props
  • 1x Fly Bot control unit
  • 1x Lipo battery pack (for the drone)
  • 1x Life battery pack (for the remote)
  • 1x Lipo/Life battery charger
  • 1x Telemetry USB dongle
  • 1x Video link receiver
  • 1x GoPro video+power cable
  • 1x Snap-on GoPro mount
  • 1x Snap-on gimbal mount
  • 1x Snap-on mirrorless camera mount
  • 1x Nine channel radio controller with 6 flying modes

4) Ultimate Ready-to-Fly Package – $1495

Get both frames and one Fly Bot, swap them out on the go for different cameras and videography needs.

  • 1x Frame with KV 800 motors and 10″ props
  • 1x Frame with KV 935 motors and 8″ props
  • 1x Fly Bot control unit
  • 2x Lipo Battery Pack (for the drone)
  • 1x Life Battery Pack (for the remote)
  • 1x Lipo/Life Battery Charger
  • 1x Telemetry USB dongle
  • 1x Video link receiver
  • 1x GoPro video+power cable
  • 1x Snap-on GoPro mount
  • 1x Snap-on gimbal mount
  • 1x Snap-on mirrorless camera mount
  • 1x Nine Channel Radio Controller with 6 flying modes

Special thanks

Easy Drone is based on open-source APM 2.6 autopilot system developed by 3D Robotics and actively maintained and updated by the community of drone enthusiasts. I would like to give a big THANK YOU to all these selfless, smart people that created and enabled this remarkable technology.

DIY DRONE community is an online forum started by folks from 3D Robotics that I owe a lot of gratitude to as well. People on this forum have been enormously helpful in troubleshooting issues and figuring out improvements.

Lastly, i would like to thank all of the YouTube experts that have uploaded their wisdom and shared it with the world. You have been crucial in helping me perfectly tune the settings and understand this open source autopilot.

CAUTION! This is NOT a toy. Improper handling and not following proper procedures can result in a serious injury. Always have your own and  safety of others on your mind when piloting. Avoid flying in public places and always comply with your local laws and regulations.

News Source: Kickstarter

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