Stephen Gienow's Blog (16)

Potomac Photonics 3D Prints UMBC Campus Scan

While looking into starting our own 3D scanning service, Lindsay and I were introduced to Potomac Photonics; they printed our campus scan as a proof of concept for micro printing 3D scans.  Read the whole story at Potomac…


Added by Stephen Gienow on July 1, 2014 at 8:18pm — No Comments

A few animations of the full campus scan

I recently figured out how to animate models I've exported from Photoscan, so have a few animations I've made of the campus scan.

At Jonathan's request: sun paths.

The summer solstice.…


Added by Stephen Gienow on May 17, 2014 at 1:00pm — 2 Comments

Flight Training with Eric from Princeton

Another training complete!  Eric Principato came down this weekend for flight training.  We covered everything from mission planning to copter repair to Photoscan.  Eric is starting a position analogous to mine, as the lab mechanical engineer for Dr. Lyndon Estes.  Eric picked up piloting quickly, and I'm happy to say that in two days he went from zero…


Added by Stephen Gienow on April 27, 2014 at 5:00pm — No Comments

Full Campus Scan With Octo

Warning: Lots of hi res images!

This is my Ecosynth scan of the UMBC campus (view in interactive 3D!).  I've been thinking about doing a large combined scan like this one for a while, and this past autumn we finally had the free resources and time to do it.…


Added by Stephen Gienow on February 4, 2014 at 8:00am — 12 Comments

Online Ecosynth Articles Circumnavigate the Internet

So I was reading over the DIYdrones posts (as I usually do), and I came across an interesting article

 Particularly: the article was about us!  Chris Anderson, the former editor-in-chief of WIRED magazine and current CEO of…


Added by Stephen Gienow on November 5, 2013 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Ecosynth Hexa User Manual: A Work In Progress (Now Public)

So here's a side project I've been working on since this past summer.  The Ecosynth Hexa Manual is now getting started, and it is publicly view-able on Google Docs.  here are only a few sections as of now, but more will be added as they are finished.  Next…


Added by Stephen Gienow on October 31, 2013 at 12:06pm — No Comments

A Good Field Day: Eight Full Flights!

June 2nd, 2013 was a good field day for photo collection!  I flew eight flights with Crimson, the Arducopter hexa with Mikrokopter motors and frame.  Five flights were for the "matrix", this summer's big project of comparing the effect of different flight conditions on 3D scan quality.  This condition was diffuse lighting, high wind, flying 40m above the canopy, with 50% side…


Added by Stephen Gienow on July 3, 2013 at 11:00am — 4 Comments

Automatic Takeoff and Landing Are A Go!

The video says it all!  Due to the new Arducopter 3.0.0 software update, our hexa now flies well enough to implement auto takeoff plus landing.  In this video, the entire flight is automatic except when I started and stopped the copter.  In takeoff areas free of obstacles like trees, the copter can be automatically taken off and landed. This saves time and battery…


Added by Stephen Gienow on June 19, 2013 at 6:06pm — No Comments

Groundbreaking New 500 by 500 Meter Photo Collection

This is a screenshot from Ecosynth's brand new 500 by 500 meter photo acquisition method!

This is Wolfgang: our newest octocopter.  It flew the 500 by 500 meter mission.  Wolfgang is our biggest and heaviest copter, it can carry four lipo batteries plus its…


Added by Stephen Gienow on June 5, 2013 at 9:30pm — 1 Comment

Arducopter is Awesome

It finally happened!  I can now confidently say that the Arducopter system is performing at a level above that of the Mikrokopter system.  Here are a few reasons:

1. Everything except takeoff and landing is automatic.  If you can hover your copter 10m from the ground, then all you need to do is flip a switch and the Arducopter will automatically fly up…


Added by Stephen Gienow on December 2, 2012 at 5:00pm — 1 Comment

Fall Training: Baby Steps for New Pilots

Does that copter look a little low to the ground?  That's because it is!  Will and I are taking the first steps in learning to pilot the Mikrokopter Hexa.  Will had displayed a sound understanding of our toy training copters in the lab, so I decided to start him on the hexa after Dana and I had finished…


Added by Stephen Gienow on October 1, 2012 at 5:26pm — 2 Comments

Octocopter II is almost ready to fly

This is the Octocopter II, named thus because it is the second Octo I've built for Ecosynth, and because the prefixes were getting pretty clunky.  This would be the Miko-Ardu-Octo-Copter, going by that standard.  I ended up naming Octocopter I as "Doctor Octopus", so in the coming weeks I'll probably come up wth a similarly suited name for this copter.…


Added by Stephen Gienow on August 16, 2012 at 12:14pm — 1 Comment

Arducopter Completes its First Photo Mission

This past Monday afternoon Jonathan and I went out to take the Arducopter on its first photo collection mission.  The mission was a success!  As you can see from the Arducopter's flight log displayed in Google Earth, the Arducopter completed a 250x250 meter photo collection.  Like our hexacopter missions, this flight plan is actually 350x350 meters, to give us some good…


Added by Stephen Gienow on August 7, 2012 at 10:30am — 4 Comments

Introducing the Arducopter Octo Frame

It is with great satisfaction that I present Ecosynth's latest experimental aerial platform, the Arducopter Octo.  This copter is controlled with an open source Arupilot board, and is built on a Mikrokopter Okto XL frame.  preliminary testing is promising, I think the Ardu-octo will be able to complete our standard Ecosynth 250x250 meter photo collection…


Added by Stephen Gienow on August 1, 2012 at 6:43pm — 1 Comment

The Secret of CHDK Unlocked for Photo Collection

Jonathan and I just cracked the case on CHDK, or Canon Hack Development Kit.  CHDK is a software kit that you load into the SD card used in a Canon camera.  CHDK passively runs from the card and allows for expanded camera capabilities.  I had managed to get CHDK loaded onto the SD4000, but I couldn't figure out how to make a script fast enough to take the…


Added by Stephen Gienow on July 9, 2012 at 3:00pm — 1 Comment

3DR Radio Trumps xBees for Telemetry

After what seems like an endless set of headaches over the xBee telemetyr modules, the end seems to be in sight!  Enter the 3DR Radio modules, a community planned successor to the xBee.  Boasting superior performance and a lower cost than the xBee, 3DR Radio seems like the logical choice.

But does the 3DR actually measure up?  Yes it does.  When doing…


Added by Stephen Gienow on July 9, 2012 at 10:54am — No Comments


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