Skittles, The Robotic Blimp

Blimp 4_0

Funky Shiitake Mushrooms, a high school design team from Fremont, CA, have created a low cost airship they call Skittles the Second. Skittles is a remote control robotic blimp, complete with 4 reversible propellers, wireless video, and 2.4 a GHz remote control. Somewhere between a regular RC  blimp and a Predator Drone, Skittles and FSM have managed to gain a large number of awards including winning the Digital Open grand prize. The ship performs amazingly, and can perform a full 360 in just over one second. There is a video after the break.

For the future, the group plans to give the ship autonomous capabilities, in order to avoid losing another drone in strong wind. Fortunately, after that happened to Skittles the first, they were able to hunt it down after it had floated 3 miles down the road. Since they are all high school students under 17, we would say they have a lot of potential. I, for one, welcome our new robotic blimp overlords.


  1. chiefcrash says:

    Will a little boy pretend to climb inside so we can half round the clock news coverage of this thing?

  2. Just dance says:

    Correction, will the little boys brother say that he saw the little boy climb into it?

  3. Steve says:

    The summary says the lost blimp was found 3 miles away, but in the video, they say 3 HOURS away.

  4. Chris says:

    It is possible it took them 3 hours to search the 3 miles depending on the terrain…

  5. Pocket says:

    Oh, how timely.
    And add a GPS locator with UHF transmitter too (Raveon tech, et al), guys.

  6. Plloi says:

    Speaking of Overlords… Zerg Halloween prop anyone?

  7. strider_mt2k says:

    There;s a little kid in there! no wait

    HONEST! no wait

  8. samurai says:

    An aircraft with a 2.4ghz remote control freq.? Isn’t that just asking for trouble?

  9. Tim says:

    Well done, I remember doing the same thing back in uni:

    @Pocket – GPS + UHF = more weight = we need a bigger balloon!

  10. reb00t says:

    as it turns out, skittles was the one who really hijacked that balloon yesterday, not the little boy! he wanted to upgrade to shiny Mylar…

  11. wdfowty says:

    lol strider beat me to it

  12. PocketBrain says:

    @Tim – Make it bigger! It should be able to hoist an instruments package; this could be part of the load. And the unit I worked with is 6 oz. not including battery and antenna.

  13. Martin B says:

    Hmmph .. and we managed to make a robotic blimp in less than a day at Defcon … out of three badges, some motors, and it even was autonomous.


  14. sol says:

    TOO SOON!!! Falcon did non die in vain!

  15. @samurai

    Currently the most popular types of radios for rc aircraft are on 2.4 ghz because they do not interfere with each other.

  16. Ummmm... says:

    Okay, seriously.
    So — I guess I’ll be the gorilla in the room and say I’m the only one in the room who hasn’t not noticed these look like 2 giant floating testicles…

  17. samurai1200 says:


    maybe. i dont know much about RC standards, but it seems like with so much running at 2.4ghz (cordless house phones, wifi, etc.) that there’d be a tremendous amount of noise at that frequency?

  18. Kev says: blimps are better.

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