A bicycle wheel abandoned in the street may find itself circling above the city in a matter of minutes. The same applies to keyboards, books and any other object that is light enough. If you’re curious to know what we are talking about, take note of this name, DIY (Drone It Yourself): this is the kit made by Jasper van Loenen, an interaction designer who graduated from the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam, for mounting four propellers and an engine to anything you want.
The DIY kit includes extendible terminals, battery, engine, propellers, power cables and a Bluetooth module for remote control of the improvised drone. The full list of the equipment used by Jasper is shown here, while 3D printing experts can make the plastic parts (ABS) of the kit by downloading this file archive. The open source control software can be found at openpilot.org and can be downloaded free for Windows, Mac and Linux.
The passion for private drones has already gripped many people, so much so that Chris Anderson, former director of Wired US, left his job and devoted himself full-time to his 3D Robotics startup and the community of DIY Drones fans. The use of these remote-controlled aerial vehicles (UAVs – Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) has become something more than a hobby: there are those who use them for field research and investigative journalism .
Jasper’s idea offers a great solution for all those who want to approach the world of drones without advanced technical knowledge. For now, the Dutch designer’s kit is just a prototype, but should it be successful, it’s possible that someone could turn it into a product and put it on the market.
To tell the truth, the spirit of makers and fabbers also has an element of contamination among ideas. 3D-printing of the plastic parts used by Jasper is very easy, making it possible to pave the way for projects developed by other creatives. It’s all about imagination. Just look at the video and take note. When will you let us know about your new drones?