Quadcopter talk by Kareem Shehata of Aeryon Labs

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So… now I know what I want for Christmas.  Had a chance to drop by the old stomping grounds of kwartzlab for their Tuesday Open Night.  James Bastow, the maker’s maker and a director of the lab, invited Kareem Shehata from Aeryon Labs to bring in and talk about Aeryon’s Scout quadcopter.

Click through for more quadcopter goodness…

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brought a ruggedized case, which typically contains…

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cool stuff packed in foam.  This was no exception.

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He asked for two volunteers to start, and James Bastow (above)…

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and Jack Van Ham stepped up

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And there’s your $100K+ mil-grade quadcopter.

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The specs are impressive.  25 minute flight time.  Geo-stationary hover in 50kph steady wind + gusts to 75kph.  A variety of…

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payloads (HAL open the pod bay doors, please).  This is a video camera mounted on a mechanically-isolated gimbal.  Transmits real-time video to the tablet.  Sick!

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No flying tonight.  But a serious 2 hours of interactive talking with tons of great questions.

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The crowd was rapt.

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Whiteboarding the major components.  Kareem’s focus is on the software.  Onboard DSP integrates sensor data and controls motors to allow all kinds of cool operating modes.  A little Linux on board, I hear.

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The ruggedized tablet that Jack modeled above connects via wifi to this portable access point (bottom centre) which then uses a radio modem to talk to the Scout at ranges up to 10 miles.  I immediately wonder what the default admin password is for the AP…

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Roughly 10 different processors on board with various tasks.  Many off-the-shelf parts are used, but the secret sauce is the software (all the hardware engineers just said “Heyyy!)

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180W at 12V.  Recall P=IV, so what’s that… 15A current per motor.

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Well, if it isn’t Karl Williams doing a little meta-photography.

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Other payloads can be snapped into the Scout undercarriage like this 10x zoom gimballed still camera.  This is a model and you can kind of tell with the SLA plastics which we know and love from other prototyping hardware manufacturers.  Other payloads include a FLIR cam and an HD GoPro.

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A lot of thought has clearly gone into making the Scout durable and easy to use by non-techies.

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A ruggedized tablet will run you $5K, which ends up being the biggest line item on the BOM.  From the tablet you can plan and control missions, limit the flight envelope, and view the video feed.  To fly up you just grab the slider with the stylus and drag it up.  Almost like Google Maps in real-time.  This is a very different control mechanism than a joystick R/C flyer for a very different purpose.

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Sweet rig.  Applications beyond military work include search and rescue, surveying, smoke stack inspection, and the list goes on.  So cool to get this opportunity for an informal chat on this really cool tech coming out of a local Waterloo company of makers.

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Thanks Kareem.  And thanks to James and kwartzlab for hosting a great talk.

Happy making,


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3 Responses to Quadcopter talk by Kareem Shehata of Aeryon Labs

  1. Jason V. Miller says:

    Wow. Awesome. Thanks Darin for covering the event and sharing for those of us not local to Waterloo!

  2. Paul says:

    If all event coverage were like this I would never leave the house. Oh wait.

  3. Agnes says:

    Thanks for the great post Darin- saved me from 2 hours of geek-talk lol. The copter looks awesome!

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