Chris Anderson now has several sub-$1K UAV designs.
Geocrawler 2 is the Lego Mindstorms NXT-based UAV (though by my calculations it's closer to $1500). I don't think the software is quite ready for any of them yet.
From his Geocrawler 2 post:
(There is another aim of this project, which is more about policy. At the moment the FAA regulations on UAVs are ambiguous (we believe that by staying below 400 feet and within line-of-sight we're within them). But there is a good deal of concern that as small and cheap UAVs become more common, the FAA will toughen the rules, making activities such as ours illegal without explicit approval. I hope this project will illustrate why that approach won't work.
By creating a UAV with Lego parts and built in part by kids, we haven't just created a "minimum UAV", we've created a reductio ad absurdum one. If children can make UAVs out of toys, the genie is out of the bottle. Clear use guidelines (such as staying below 400 feet and away from tall buildings) would be welcome, but blanket bans or requirements for explicit FAA approval for each launch will be too hard to enforce. The day when there was a limited "UAV industry" that could be regulated are gone.)
Yeah.Posted by jjwiseman at July 24, 2007 02:11 AM