Question: "What emerging technology today do you think will cause another big stir for the average consumer in the same way that the home computer did years ago?"
Bill Gates: "Robots, pervasive screens, speech interaction will all change the way we look at 'computers'". Once seeing, hearing, and reading (including handwriting) work very well you will interact in new ways."

Years back one of the neighborhood kids was flying a small quadcopter up and down the street.  As any middle aged kid would do, I asked if I could play around with it.  I'd had always thought quadcopters were just glorified RC helicopters.  Imagine my surprise when I was able to GPS lock the position.  I grabbed one of the legs of the copter and dragged it down the block as you could feel the motors fighting to get it back to the locked location.  I then loading one side of the copter to find it had accelerometers to stabilize it in flight.  While, that started it.  I locked myself in my work area and started reading.  And now years and thousands of dollars later my home is littered with all sorts of bots and flying things.

Drone - (a) an unmanned aircraft or vehicle that can navigate autonomously, without human control or beyond line of sight,
 (b) any unmanned aircraft or vehicle that is guided remotely.

So what are they, Drones or UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles)?  I have a problem with the term 'Drone'.  There are two definitions above; the first mentions unmanned autonomous, while the second unmanned remote.  To me, a Drone is an intelligent autonomous machine.  Could a Quadcopter be both a Drone and a UAV?  Yes, depending on how you are flying it. 

I have a good mix of Copters and Robots (daddy's toys) but my focus is on the 'autonomous' part.  Autonomous vehicles is just me mixing my other obsessions with software, ucontrollers, electronics, sensors, imaging and robotics all together.  Electronic nirvana.

                                                            'As if I didn't have enough things to obsess about.'   

Drones/Robots

* I'll finish adding them as I get the time

Interesting/Helpful Links

Drone Registration
FAA Registration

Drone/Copter Building
Drone Building (stuff no one tells you)

Drones, UAVs

Scientific American - What is a Drone?
DJI Quadcopters - Copters, Parts
APM ArduPilot - Open source autopilot
Endurance R/C - Electronics, Parts
HobbyKing - Forums, Blogs
Fat Shark - Copters, Parts, Electronics
Spektrum - Transmitters, Receivers
Fubata - Transmitters, Receivers
Blade - Copter, Parts
  
Sensors
Maxbotics - Ultra-Sonics

Local Vendors
Jersey Hobby
The Drone Academy         

Transmitter Setup & Manals
Fubata Manuals
Spektrum DX7s
Spektrum DX8
Spektrum DX18

Photos in Flight

 
            Hexcopter flying near work.  Check out the bird buzzing the copter.

Quad Building (the stuff no one tells you)

If you're trying to build one of these you'll find there is almost no vendor information out there, and a lot of disinformation on the Web.  Someone will do something which just happens to work so it becomes law despite it defies Physics and Ohm's Law.  Use the link below for building tips.
                              Drone Building (the stuff no one tells you)