Low cost R/C hackable plane
Makers are constantly coming up with new ideas and ways to bring their dreams to reality without having to spend a lot of money. The good example is the folks at Brooklyn Aerodrome. Their basic concept was to put together a very low-cost RC airplane.
Of course they had a lot of failures and ran into a lot of brick walls in the process, but in a surprisingly short period of time they managed to put together a plane that would actually fly. Once they finish the initial testing and put some videos up on YouTube, the response was beyond their wildest dreams. Lots of people, all across the globe, wanted to follow in their footsteps.
Their design, which uses very cheap material for the airplane body, is open source. You can easily get the parts list, instructions, and advice from active builders via their website. And, if you don’t want to go to the trouble of finding all parts individually yourself, a kit is available online in the MakerShed. Of course the kit is with more expensive than hacking it together yourself, But some people will definitely want to go that route.
Prop & motor close up.
They're not "Superman", but these hacked flying 'humans' have recently taken to the air around New York City. The video clip below shows some of their aerial adventures.
Historically, mankind has developed new weapons, deployed them, observed the damage, and then debated the ethics and morality of the weapons after the fact. That pattern seems to have held true from the time of the first crude clubs, spears, bows and arrows, and even the atomic bomb.
The latest development in that same series is the X-47B fully autonomous drone, currently being tested by the US Navy. The new robotic drone is so advanced that it can take off and land on an aircraft carrier at sea without human intervention.
I've always wanted to build a R/C helicopter but thought that the technology and learning curve would be much more than I could squeeze into my limited schedule and budget. Tuesday night, Randy MacKay and Jiro Hattori totally blew me away and evaporated all my misconceptions.
They visited Tokyo Hackerspace and were kind enough to share the work that they have done with Arduino based drone helicopters, based on open source software and hardware designs from DIY Drones.