Tag Archive | aerial mapping

Another successful Kickstarter campaign

Dear friends,

Although only five months young, dronologista blog has grown and needs a new attire.

As of 1st of September, dronologista.com moves to a new hosting, new address and slightly changes the appearance . Content will remain the same, and dronologista will continue to provide information about non-military drones only.

Enjoy!

After a short break caused by family gatherings, dronologista is back with some good news. Another Kickstarter project that was featured here, Maps Made Easy, got successfully funded! Out of three Kickstarter projects supported by dronologista (Easy Drone, AirDog and now Maps Made Easy), all three got their funds and are moving beyond fundraising phase.

Here is the part of the statement made by Maps Made Easy crew, right after the funding session was over:

Words can’t express the gratitude we are feeling for all the support we have received through this entire process.  From our proof readers and critical minds to the new contacts and old friends, we want to thank you all.  We know this was a pretty technical topic for Kickstarter, but the right people found us and loved the idea.  Lasting business relationships have been formed.

As we roll out parts of the site we will continue to post our progress here.  After the campaign closes we will be in contact with everyone to sort out reward delivery and scheduling of the various activities.

We really can’t thank everybody enough and will talking to you all soon.

Truly humbled,

Tudor and the Maps Made Easy team

Great job guys, and good luck!

Drone Startups part 14: Maps Made Easy

Dear friends,

Although only five months young, dronologista blog has grown and needs a new attire.

As of 1st of September, dronologista.com moves to a new hosting, new address and slightly changes the appearance . Content will remain the same, and dronologista will continue to provide information about non-military drones only.

Enjoy!

Aerial mapping can be quite time-consuming and expensive. Even if you are employing a UAV to do it, it might take hours for all the post-processing, time-stamp shifting and deleting blurred photos. And after all the time invested, it is quite possible that the map created is not up to expectations, and the whole process starts almost from scratch.

That is what Maps Made Easy, a Kickstarter project, is trying to improve. Maps Made Easy is a brainchild of a San Diego based Drones Made Easy, a DJI dealership with a twist, because behind it stands a group of engineers with aerial photography, photogrammetry and commercial drone mapping systems experience.

Aerial mapping process workflow with Maps Made Easy should work something like this:

  1. Plan – Use our online planning tool or ground station software of your choice to select the area to be mapped
  2. Collect – Program the aerial platform. Set the camera to take periodic images. Kick off the automated flight. Wait for the drone to land itself
  3. Upload – Drag and drop the collected images into our web application. Upload completion automatically kicks off the processing
  4. Interact – View the created maps on our site. Pan and zoom around using a familiar interface. Control public accessibility. Embed freely.

Image processing can tie up a personal computer for hours, if not days, unless you have a US$15.000,00 workstation that can spit it up in minutes. By offloading the job to Maps Made Easy image-processing service, you can free your computer, and just wait for the email with your hosted and stitched aerial image, that can easily become fully geo-referenced, with just a few clicks.

If you have any doubt, just check what an experienced aerial mapper told about the service: “177 randomly named photos, without GPS data, without flight logs, were loaded onto alpha version of the server. I thought they don’t have a chance, but they nailed it. Just few hours later, an e-mail was waiting in inbox, with a URL for a finished map

The Maps Made Easy service is the future of low-cost aerial mapping. It is able to provide up-to-date maps out of stitched imagery, that are accurate enough even for GIS professionals.

And if you are having a second thought on funding this Kickstarter, let dronologista give you a short advice: back it!

Videos courtesy of Drones Made Easy.

Brilliant article, first hand experience and an interview with CTO of Drones Made Easy can be found on DIYDrones.

SenseFly eBee RTK – new tool for aerial mapping

Dear friends,

Although only five months young, dronologista blog has grown and needs a new attire.

As of 1st of September, dronologista.com moves to a new hosting, new address and slightly changes the appearance . Content will remain the same, and dronologista will continue to provide information about non-military drones only.

Enjoy!

On June 11th, senseFly announced arrival of their new flier: eBee RTK. It is a survey-grade aerial mapping tool that enables the collection of aerial photography to produce orthomosaics and digital elevation models with absolute accuracy of down to 3 cm. Their previous aerial mapping UAV, the eBee, had accuracy of 5cm, and it still produced quite impressive results, as it can be seen on the video below:

Weighing just 0.7 kg (1.5 lbs) the eBee RTK is one of the lightest drones on the market. Its flexible foam airframe and rear-mounted propeller are designed to ensure the safety of both the drone and the people on the ground. Autonomy is approximately 40 minutes on a single battery charge, flying with cruising speed between 36-57km/h. The eBee RTK can also resist winds of up to 45km/h (12m/s).

senseFly eBee RTK

senseFly eBee RTK

 

According to the specification, eBee RTK has approaching angle of 20°, which allows it to land in confined spaces. Usually, approaching angle for fixed wing UAV is around 5°.  Also, eBee RTK has integrated fallback procedures: if the eBee RTK’s sensors detect a critical situation a warning is shown via its eMotion ground control software. The eBee RTK then automatically initiates the relevant safety procedure, such as returning to its landing point if its battery runs low or strong wind is detected, or starting to climb if it detects it is close to the ground.

Important features:

  • 16MP still camera
  • up to 3km radio link
  • linear landing

Package contains:

  • eBee RTK body and detachable wings (incl. autopilot and electronics)
  • above mentioned 16MP still camera
  • 2,4 GHz ground modem for data link
  • two Li-Po battery packs and charger
  • spare propeller
  • Carry case with foam protection
  • Remote control and accessories
  • user manual
  • fully featured software

The eBee RTK should be available on the market in third quarter of 2014.

Detailed info about the product you can find on senseFly webpage.

Image and video courtesy of Parrot and senseFly.