The Micro UFO Quad, now only $49.99!
No category has ever expanded more rapidly in Maker Shed history than the recently added Drones and Flight category. We’ll continue adding items to the category in anticipation of the launch of Volume 37 of MAKE magazine, which will focus on Drones, but I’m most excited to see what our creative audience – all of you – do with these products during the holiday season. Browse the category for that special aspiring pilot or RC junkie in your life. There are a lot of options here that will satisfy the pro, beginner, and everyone in between. Below I go more in-depth on a few of the products, and talk about why I’m particularly excited about them.
Micro UFO (photo above)
Although we’ve had this little guy on the shelves for a few months, we recently dropped the price to an incredible $49.99! So why is it so great? Well, to start, this Micro Quad can fit in the palm of your hand and the transmitter has two flight modes built in – a beginner mode for aspiring pilots or indoor flight and an advanced mode for acrobatics (automatic loops, anyone?) or high-speed maneuvers. The transmitter, two LiPo batteries and USB battery charger come with the quad (along with some backup props), to keep you in the air. Looking to get into flying? Why buy a pricey flight simulator when you can practice on the real thing for less? Read Senior Editor Stett Holbrook’s “noob” take on this Quad here and pick one up from the Shed today!
The Crazyflie is one of the smallest quadcopter kits you can buy, and perfect for the experienced pilot who’d like to try his or her hand at soldering together a tiny, agile multirotor. It weighs only 19 grams, measures under four inches from motor-to-motor, and has two additional sensors for high-precision altitude and heading measurement built in. The platform is completely open source and built with development in mind — there’s even a version of the Crazyflie client that supports flight control with the Leap Motion.
The Quadcopter Kit from 3D Robotics is great for those who are looking to add some autonomy to their flying experience. The board that comes with this kit, the Arduino-compatible APM, can reliably stabilize any configuration of multirotor, and is made to be easy to set up. It’s a flexible, powerful board that not only keeps your craft stable in the air, but can send it on a pre-planned path (which you specify in the free software), command it to automatically land, or even follow you from the air. Geofencing, a robust airframe, and various failsafe features will keep your quad in sight, stable, and off the ground. We also have the APM available standalone, and many other 3DR products, including backup motors and a video system for your multirotor.
For those of you who’re interested in learning more about multirotors and remote control flight in general, there are few resources more valuable than FliteTest’s YouTube show. In addition to embarking on a wide variety of challenges, reviews and tutorials for their biweekly show, the knowledgeable FliteTest crew recently opened an online store and started producing kits for makers. The Anycopter and Batbone frame kits are fantastic for the aspiring multirotor builder, since they come with all the hardware, delrin legs, and a lasercut frame. The Batbone Tricopter kit featured above even comes with a camera mount for getting those jello-free, high quality shots. We also carry two other frames from FliteTest – the quad (which I own, and love) and tri Anycopter kits.
We’ve been in love with the ridiculously fun ELEV-8 quadcopter for awhile now. One of its best features is how easy it is to modify — and now we’ve made that even easier. Convert the ELEV-8 to a Hexcopter with this kit, which comes with all the electronics and additional parts you need to make the transition smooth and painless. You’ll be back in the air before you know it, and with an additional carrying capacity of two pounds. We have plenty of other ELEV-8 compatible products that will keep you flying for awhile – the crash pack, spare motors, and even extra landing gear. Tweak the speed controls with the BESC programming card and keep flying with additional batteries and a charger.
I really only scratched the surface here – we have a lot more in the category that I didn’t mention, including two “ARF” (almost ready to fly) kits from Aeroquad. And to top it all off, I have even better news – from now until Sunday, use coupon code FRIDAY at the bottom of your shopping cart to eliminate your shipping costs. Stay tuned for more exciting special offers coming on Monday, and happy shopping!