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The mysterious Jack Crossfire’s open source Vicacopter autonomous VTOL UAVs are amazing to watch. For around a hundred dollars you, too, can build your own.

You need to be an expert in PIC assembly, electronics, & the VicaCopter source code to actually get it to work, but this is actual source code flying our autonomous VTOL aircraft, not an incomplete stage which can’t hover.

The VicaCopter supports 2 configurations:
3 gyros & a sonar transducer for the minimal autopilot
6 DOF IMU, magnetometer, barometer, GPS for the full autopilot

Some things VicaCopter can do:
Can fly with under $100 of parts, not including the airframe.
Automated landing & takeoff
Sonar position sensing for indoor flight
GPS position sensing for outdoor flight
Ground station instrument panel
Untethered communication from pilot to ground station
Fully autonomous missions written in picoC scripting language
Manual altitude & position changes from stick commands
Curved or linear paths
Turning towards a point
Camera trigger

Adam Flaherty

I make cool stuff and write about other people making cool stuff on makezine.com. If you have something you think I should see, send me a tip.


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