Ruben 9 year old co-pilot after attending a test-drive session
What is, arguably, the coolest thing you can do with a Raspberry Pi?
After much coding, benchtesting and frustrated neighbours, the first tricopter Picopter took its first trembling flaps into the sky.
Portability and foldability led to new designs, rethinks and structuring of the code. Picopter also moved over to a separate flight controller.
Together with Brainiac, we taught classes in Notting Hill, London. Building drones from scratch with 9 - 13 year old boys and girls, flying, crashing and fixing. Fixing with Sugru, glue and a 3d-printer.
With mounting interest in the project, we decided to incorporate the project. A shout-out to friends of the project: Anton, Iman, Melissa, Greta, Sasha, Alessandro and Michel
Together with Sutton Grammar School, we ran sessions in their Big Ban series - we taught how to build, and mainly how to crash drones.
After a long period of tinkering, a whole new version of Picopter was born. A much more organic look, more crash-proof and more featured. Things such as VR-glasses, 400m-range controller, live video streaming, waypoints, camera panning, gimbal and image recognition saw the light of day.
We started to invite some of the most promising drone pilots to our testing sessions. They then walked home with drones to fly, test, crash, program and rebuild. We got some amazing data and feedback on what works, and what doesn't.
We started flying in Meath Gardens in London on a weekly basis. We can't apologise enough to the residents for the noise, especially that of our cheering after crashes.
After a long period of moonlighting, Marten (me, writing, Hi!) quit his job as CTO and software developer, and focused wholly on Picopter. Hopefully that will speed up future iterations.
We started accepting orders on our scaled back version, Picopter cocoon. It's 3D-printed with parts available from any of your favourite hobby shops.
We started the roll-out of our membership platform, PICOPTER club.
Become a member to support Picopter, get fabulous perks and make this project possible.
Be the first to access .stl-files for your printer, the latest release of code and see the latest features.
That's pretty amazing, right?
Join classes in London, weekly free hacker sessions and piloting sessions.
We're normally based in Mile End or at times King's Cross.
Get the ability to order our latest releases, from our London factory right to your doorstep.
First we're launcing the Picopter module, the brains for all our other robotis projects. Then we're rolling out some amazing new products.
All we do is released as open source.
You can already find our stuff on GitHub and Thingiverse - we release the latest stable versions there, and share the nightly builds with our community.
And no, we don't have any direct affiliation with The Raspberry Pi Foundation, other than supplying their Raspberry Pi boards and finding them an awe-inspiring foundation.
After having worked 8 years in the social impact sector, with projects such as TreeSisters, CrowdSkills and over the past years Impacton and many others, Picopter took over. Picopter really started back in 1994:
I was 3 years old when my interest for electronics was truly sparked. With a hammer, screwdriver and pliers, dad and I dissected an old radio, diving into the pcbs, speakers and the like. Nicknamed The Professor in school, due to my always building some electronic invention, I started building websites for clients just before my teenage years, participated in professional RC car racing and flew RC airplanes.
The love for electronics ventured with me as I studied Entrepreneurship, ran my first few startups and started growing as a coder. But it wasn’t until Raspberry Pi that I could really combine my knowledge and love for coding with AFK-interacting machines. That moment when a leg on your first hexapod starts moving, or the first propeller on your tricopter starts spinning, with the sole command of your code... is transformative.
Around the same time, drones started to become feasible to build, and I got my first 3d-printer. So by me combining these four; the Code, the Raspberry Pi, the 3d Printer and drones, you have what you see here today, PiCopter. And my name is Marten.
34B York Way
London N1 9AB
Our classes are normally in Mile End, London