Tag Archives: drone

Drones- A Blessing or a Curse?

The increasing popularity of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) has created a lot of security issues and possible privacy threats. Drone manufacturers have made them easy to fly so that any person without any experience can buy one and fly it without reading the instruction manual first. This has made them attractive for consumers, but also for criminals. Most of them have a camera to allow the user to go to distances beyond their sight. As a result, drones are now being used by many companies to make deliveries such as Amazon, by people to take selfies, by explorers, by authorities etc. This increased amount of usage may pose security threats to privacy and commercial space.

For example, there is already reported cases of drones almost crashing into military aircrafts, or invading the helicopters flying area when trying to put out a forest fire, hacked drones, or drones being used to smuggle drugs. Additionally, there are a lot of reports involving drones constantly flying over private properties while recording. Drones are difficult to detect because of their size, so the company Aaronia produced a new drone detection system that tracks the high-frequency signal between these devices and it´s remote control.

The device consists of a IsoLOG 3D antenna, a Spectran V5 spectrum analyzer and a plug in for the RTSA software. It offers the user a long detection range, functionality in poor visibility, high resolution of signal detection, portability, drone identification etc.

This system provides detailed information of signal distribution, and can be combined with different devices to provide a bigger range of detection. It can be programmed to set off an alarm when some selected parameters are exceeded. The IsoLOG 3D has 16 sectors that provide full 360 RF spectrum overview including an image of the monitored area. It has W signal sensitivity and continuous data streaming with up to 4 TB per day.

Militaries could use this device to protect large areas, and even in the future to stop the drones from entering areas where they could interfere with life threatening situations or confidentiality sensitive scenarios. For now, only detection is possible, but it is a huge step toward fixing the security concern posed by drones. Some parts in the United States have already implemented laws to register all drones and to prohibit the users from flying them above certain heights and close to airports. These governmental measures can help the Aaronia device to easily identify the drones, and the device could help the authorities to stop people from breaking the law.

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XBEE X V2 FPV Racing Drone Kit

XBEE, the FPV racing drones manufacturer, had produced recently its new racing frame “XBEE X V2” for $75. It is a follow-up to the previous model “The XB-X Mk2” and it is a quad drone frame with a camera on its body. X V2 is designed with Wheelbase 220mm size guide.

First-person view (FPV) is also known as video piloting. Using this technique you can control a radio-controlled vehicle from the driver or pilot’s view point. The vehicle is either driven or piloted remotely from a first-person perspective via an onboard camera, fed wirelessly to video FPV goggles or a video monitor.

V2 Features:

  • Full Carbon Fiber.
  • 2mm Bottom Plate, 2mm Top Plate and 4mm arms
  • Matek PDB include(PDB-XPW W/ CURRENT SENSOR 140A & DUAL BEC)
  • Black steel screws(option titanium screws)
  • Transmitter mount include
  • weight : 79g

To build a full drone with the V2 frame you will need these parts with a total budget of about $450:

This video by X-FramesFPV will show you how to build XBEE X V2:

You can also follow this guide for detailed instructions of a full build of V2.

Turn Your Raspberry Pi Into A Wi-Fi Drone Disabler

Note: The information presented here is for educational purposes. This tutorial is designed to help users understand the security implications of using unprotected wireless communications by exploring its use in a popular drone model: the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0. It’s illegal to access computer systems that you don’t own or to damage other people’s property, the techniques should only be performed on devices that you own or have permission to operate on.

Using a Raspberry Pi with a touchscreen, and running a couple of simple Bash scripts, Brent Chapman built a device that will drop Wi-Fi controlled drones right out of the sky with just a tap of your finger.

wifijammer

The device concept is finding the unsecured Wi-Fi access point used by the pilot smartphone or tablet to control the drone, then log on to the drone’s default gateway address, and shuts down the system from the inside without the pilot knowing.

This will only work on some models of drones which use Wi-Fi as the interface between the controller and the drone, such as Parrot’s Bebop and AR.Drone 2.0, that are entirely controlled via Wi-Fi.

The AR.Drone 2.0 is an ideal platform for experimentation and learning thanks to its many impressive features and sensors plus its low cost. It creates an access point named “ardrone2_” followed by a random number, that the user can connect to via a smartphone. This access point is open by default with no authentication or encryption. Once a user connects the device to the access point, he or she can launch the app to begin control of the drone.

raspberry_pi_2298-15

At first, you have to connect the Raspberry Pi with a touchscreen, this guide by adafruit might be helpful. When they are ready, the next step is preparing couple of bash scripts. The first is named “join_network.sh”, and it used to make the Pi automatically join the AR.Drone 2.0 access point.

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The second script is named “poweroff.sh”,it will initiate a telnet connection to the drone, then send the command of poweroff, which tells the drone to shut everything down.

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The last step is building a “Cantenna”, a DIY directional antenna made of a can to boost the wireless signal. You just need to drill a hole on an empty can to hold a N connector then connect it to Wi-Fi card.

cantenna6

Keep in mind, you should only try this tool on your own personal drones safely and at your own risk. You can find the complete guide at this link at makezine.

Building A Quadcopter For Newbie

Drones are one of the rising technologies in the world and it became very popular that we see it in news on places that have armed conflicts, aerial photography like GoPro drones and even for customer care like the Prime Air delivery system from Amazon which is designed to get packages to customers using small unmanned aerial vehicles (aka drones).

If this is the first time to read about how to build a quadcopter, then this post is for you. Boris Landoni from OpenElectronics made a detailed how-to tutorial on how to build a quadcopter in two parts.

quadcopter

As the name implies, the quadcopter has four propellers and to control them we need a lot of electronics parts and with no doubt a control board. The control board which Boris Landoni build is based on Arduino Mega and manages the engines of the drone with up to eight outputs, receives commands from a remote controller and supports the telemetry function via smartphone using HC-05 Bluetooth module.

mainboardquad

GY-86 flight control sensor module is used on top of main board (the small blue board) which combines MPU-6050 (3-axis accelerometer and 3-axis gyroscope), a digital 3-axis compass HMC5883L form Honeywell and the pressure sensor MS5611 MEAS.

Boris talked about the firmware that could be used to control the main board, but chose MultiWii firmware which is a general purpose software to control a multirotor RC model.

MultiWii Configuration GUI - Image Source eng.ucsd.edu
MultiWii Configuration GUI – Image Source eng.ucsd.edu

He used six-channel remote control operating on the 2.4 Ghz frequency. Each channel controls one surface or component in the quadcopter.

tablercchannels

flightglossary

 Main Board Assembled on the Frame and Connected with RC Receiver (the black box in the left of the main board)
Main Board Assembled on the Frame and Connected with RC Receiver (the black box in the left of the main board)

You can do both the telemetry and the control via Bluetooth from your smartphone using EZ-GUI Android application, which is a Ground Control Station (GCS) for UAVs based on MultiWii and Cleanflight.

ez-gui

Boris talked about PID parameters calibration, a control loop feedback mechanism used to control systems. He shared an interesting video showing how changing these values changes the behavior of the quadcopter.

 

The full assembly instructions and other important notes by Boris are found in the two part how-to tutorial: Part1Part2.

Bill of Material
Bill of Material

Drone The Quadcopter

FC5XSC8IRXT9K31.MEDIUM

Sameer Gupta tipped us with his latest project, a DIY Quadcopter:

“Drone The Quadcopter” is an featured UAV. I design my project with F450 arm in X-mode design. The full operation takes place via a Flysky FSCT6 remote control unit which gives a better operating range of 800 Meter to 1.2KM.

Drone The Quadcopter – [Link]