You’re probably familiar with an autonomous quadcopter that capture amazing images from the sky. But now, a new drone reminds us that there is a lot of space to improve and build advanced copters.
The ERLE-COPTER is a flying robot powered by ROS and controlled via an open hardware featured enough to run Linux natively.
Initially built as an educational drone, the ERLE-COPTER offers enough features to fly over the educational and research sides right in the garages of makers and hackers. The reason is simple: the drone is controlled by an ERLE-BRAIN inspired by the BeagleBone.
The 1 GHz Cortex-A8 processor and 512 MB RAM of the brain are capable of real-time analysis and can run an operating system like Android, Ubuntu, or Debian. More than that, the BRAIN has attached more than 30 sensors and plenty of GPIO pins. The memory of the controller can be extended with a MicroSD card with a capacity that supports hundreds of images and videos captured by the camera attached to the drone.
A Lithium-Polymer battery with a capacity of 3000 mAh can offer an autonomy of about 15 minutes.
A good reason to play with the ERLE-COPTER is the ROS SDK that allows the users to develop robotics applications.
Even the quadcopter is available in three versions (Prices: €399, €494, €589), only two of them are equipped with WiFi module in order to connect a smartphone or a tablet wirelessly to the robot.
To capture images and videos from the air, you need to attach a powerful camera, which increases the weight of the drone. The payload for a drone was always a big problem, and this is one of the reasons that the flying robots can stay in the sky only several minutes. But the ERLE-COPTER is a real dinosaur that support payload of up to 2 kg.