Fighting Walrus Radio

iOS device that controls your personal drone
Rapvj0pyn6mbmgzohljo
Bryan Galusha
Technology
San Francisco, California
United States
1 Team Member

iDroneLink Now Shipping:

Through the course of this project the Fighting Walrus Radio grew up and became the compact iDroneLink.
More information is available here:
www.fightingwalrus.com/iDroneLink


 

Fighting Walrus Radio

iOS Accessory for Personal Drones
 
The Fighting Walrus Radio turns your iPad or iPhone into a mobile ground station for your personal Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).
 
 The Fighting Walrus Radio

Key Features

  • Monitor your UAV's critical flight systems
  • Touch the screen to send new waypoints to your drone
  • Log flight data
  • Open-source iOS app
  • Rugged aluminum design
  • 1 mile range
  • Compatible with all MAVLink drones and Parrot AR.Drone
  • 30-pin and Lightning connector versions
 
Screenshot of Ground Control Application 

Why Fighting Walrus?

During the design process, we couldn't help but notice that our radio looked like a plucky little walrus peering over the edge of our iPads.  It was during one of these late-night coding sessions that the Fighting Walrus Radio was born.
 
Our Walrus Mascot

How Does It Work?

The Fighting Walrus Radio communicates with your drone using the MAVLink Micro Air Vehicle communication protocol.  This makes it compatible with existing drone platforms such as Ardupilot and the forthcoming GPS upgrade for the Parrot AR.Drone.  Current users with Ardupilot vehicles and the popular 3D Robotics air radios will be able to integrate the Fighting Walrus Radio directly into their UAV systems.

MAVLink Micro Air Vehicle Communication Protocol

The Fighting Walrus Radio is based around the HopeRF HM-TRP Transceiver module.  This comes in 915 or 433 MHz variants depending on your country.  As a funder of our campaign, you will receive a radio appropriate for the country from which you place your order.  You will also be able to select the non-default frequency if you so desire.  This radio is rated to a 1 mile line-of-sight range.

HopeRF HM-TRP Transceiver Modules

Open-Source Software

To maximize the potential of the Fighting Walrus Radio, we've made the iOS software open-source.  The app is based on software created by Claudio Natoli for the DIY Drones community.

The code is available here: https://github.com/cnatoli/iGCS

 

Parrot AR.Drone 2.0

The Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 is normally controlled by connecting to the drone with an iOS device with a WiFi link.  The drone is then flown by tilting the iPad or iPhone back and forth, with the drone's orientation tracking the controller's orientation.
 
The Fighting Walrus Radio allows you to continue to use the same method of control only with our 1-mile stable radio link instead of the WiFi.  If the drone is within WiFi range, you will be able to view its onboard video stream like normal, but when out of WiFi range the video will not be available.
 
If you already own a Parrot AR.Drone 2.0, you can purchase the Fighting Walrus Radio Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Range Extension Kit perk for $140.  If you don't own a drone, you can get the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 with Fighting Walrus Radio kit for $500.
 
The Fighting Walrus Radio range-extended Parrot AR.Drone is controlled using a modified version of Parrot's FreeFlight iOS app.  A screenshot of an early version of this app is below.
 
Modified FreeFlight App for Parrot AR.Drone
  

Risks 

Our biggest challenge will be completing the Apple Made-For-iPod certification process.  We have an initial approval of our concept and app, but must work with Apple to ensure that our device complies with their requirements.
 

Production Plan

We are working with a number of Bay Area small businesses that will create the components of the device.  We will have a beta round of devices for more widespread testing before our main production run in September.  
 

Supported Devices

iPhones:

  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 6 plus
  • iPhone 5S
  • iphone 5

iPads:

  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad Air
  • iPad mini 3
  • iPad mini 2
  • iPad mini
  • iPad 4th
 
 

T-Shirt Design

T-Shirt Front T-Shirt Back 

T-shirts come in S, M, L, XL, or XXL.

Contact

bryan at fightingwalrus dot com
andrew at fightingwalrus dot com 
 

Special Thanks

We couldn't have started this project without the help of some amazing people:
 
- Claudio Natoli: For providing a working iOS app for use as a baseline
- Owen Hnath: For over-the-top efforts doing the mechanical design
- Ofer Bruhis: For PCB design and consulting
- David Long: For his on-demand pilot services
- Phil, Cameron, Don, and Karen from People Productions for making and iterating our launch video
- Questor "Q" Sapnu - For allows us to use Progresh (Extreme Sports Facility) for video filming
- Dominic Megalli: For busting tricks on his bike while a drone buzzed overhead for our video
- Cody Remington from uasusa.com: For piloting in our launch video
- Ian Frechette: For piloting in our launch video
- Mike Machado: For technical assistance with our drones
- Domenic Pellarin from R.P. Specialists: For 1-week turns on mechanical parts
- Brian Riley: For mechanical design and unwavering support on evaForge / UAVForge project
- Ryan Graba: For some great graphical design work  
- Matt Burrard-Lucas: For licensing us our walrus mascot
- Aaron Nathan: For his excellent drone hacking skills
 
Find This Campaign On
$23,294USD
raised by 142 people in 1 month
47% funded
0 time left
$50,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on April 22, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $1USD
    Your name in the credits

    Get your name in the credits for the Fighting Walrus Radio's iOS app.

    6 claimed

    Estimated delivery: September 2013
  • $20USD
    Fighting Walrus Radio T-Shirt

    Get a stylish T-Shirt with the Fighting Walrus Radio logo. Add $25 to ship outside the US.

    27 claimed

    Estimated delivery: September 2013
  • $99USD
    Fighting Walrus Radio

    Fighting Walrus Radio in either 30 pin or Lightning configuration. An iOS accessory for your personal drone. Add $18 to ship outside the US.

    49 claimed

    Estimated delivery: September 2013
  • $140USD
    ARDrone 2.0 Long Range Kit

    If you have an ARDrone 2.0 this allows you to operate it at up to a 1 mile range. Control is identical to tilt based method used in FreeFlight. Streaming Video stream drops out at 165ft (wifi range), but you can still control the drone. Onboard recording is functional at full range. No Way-point control until supported by Parrot and their new GPS accessory.

    22 claimed

    Estimated delivery: September 2013
  • $500USD
    AR.Drone 2.0 RTF Kit

    Get the Fighting Walrus Radio custom integrated with a Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 and AR.Drone 2.0 accessory (Ready-To-Fly Kit) Add $50 to ship outside the US.

    3 claimed

    Estimated delivery: September 2013
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