The 101 of Building a Personal Drone

scout1In 2015, the FAA is set to legalize hobby drones in standard airspace. Simultaneously, drones have become ubiquitous in hacker spaces and hobbyist meetups. Though drones are a bit more complicated than your average remote-controlled toy, it’s increasingly possible for hobbyists to fly or program an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Here at DARC, we’re excited to be hosting an “Intro to Hobby Drones” track—four sessions that that will teach all comers, irrespective of tech chops, how to get a drone off the ground.

In our first session, Russell de la Torre will go over everything you need to know to get your first drone in the air. What’s this thing called payload? Which drone would be the best for aerial photography? What drone should I choose? We’ll go over the components you need, whether it’s best to buy or build and how fly your drone. Anyone can participate in this discussion, regardless of experience.

The second session in our Intro to Hobby Drones track is led by Gabriella Levine. Now that you have a drone, how do you do stuff with it? Learning to fly a drone by remote control is some pretty serious stuff, and we’ll go over the technologies and Open Hardware toolkits that make Remote Controlled (RC) and First Person Viewer (FPV) accessible for hobby drone development. The beauty of this open source hardware and software is that anyone can use it and build upon it.  We’ll also use some wireless video transmission, wireless RC tools and Arduino.


We’re also proud to say that both these session leaders are graduates of ITP at NYU which is, in fact, where the hackathon on the last day of DARC will be held. We’ll share more details on the other tutorial sessions, and the hackathon, in coming days.

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