Build your own drone with this ground-breaking software


If you’re involved in working with commercial drones or just follow drone news, you’ve likely noticed that most commercial use UAVs are designed with very similar concepts in mind. Four rotors, similar build — it almost feels like some kind of a clone strike.

But here’s the thing — some uses may require slightly different drone models. Until recently, if you wanted to build your own concept with, say, an additional rotor, it would cost you a very pretty penny (if you could even find the right engineers for the project, that is).

However, it looks like MIT’s new program is a complete game changer. So if you’ve always wanted a custom built drone, but weren’t sure where to start, it looks like your time has come. Rejoice, as the institute’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)’s latest project is a wonderful new platform that basically allows you to build your drone from scratch.

Best part — looks like the interface is not all that hard to comprehend, although it’s not likely to be very simplistic either. The software allows you to play with the size of your drone, as well as determine the shape and structure of the UAV. After you’ve come up with a basic model, the interface will prompt you to specify the payload, materials you’d like to use and battery usage.

After gathering all the data from you, the system will perform all the necessary calculations for motor angles, rod lengths and other characteristics important for actual manufacturing. The system will also take into account the ergonomics of the drone you’ve designed, letting you know if it will be able to take off at all, or further tweaks are required.

MIT Professor Wojciech Matusik, who is responsible for the project, says that “This system opens up new possibilities for how drones look and function”.

The platform is not accessible for public yet, so stay tuned for further updates.

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