IPhone Used To Control Squad Of UAVs

Building UAVs
is only half the work involved in making them fly; the other half is a control system. The Center for Collaborative Control of Unmanned Vehicles (C3UV) from the University of Califorina, Berkeley has devised a way to control a squad of RC airplanes with an iPhone. The system works by submitting commands and coordinates to a web site via the iPhone’s web browser. The site then sends the commands to the team of drones, which carry out the orders. The drones are outfitted with cameras and a tracking device, which allows them to be monitored on the ground using Google Maps.

The iPhone Terms of Service specifically prohibits it being used to drive remote vehicles, but that shouldn’t really pose a problem: since the orders are deployed via the iPhone’s web browser, they could technically be given by any web-enabled device. Before anyone cries foul, though, bear in mind that the idea is to issue orders from the field, and the iPhone is perhaps the most high-profile mobile web device on the market, which maximizes the project’s exposure. Still, we can’t help but think that they’d have gotten more media attention if they had used a hacked Kindle instead.

7 thoughts on “IPhone Used To Control Squad Of UAVs

  1. juan as much as I don’t care, I think you’re gonna be taking some heat for yet another post.

    It’s pretty cool but I don’t think many people will consider it a hack.

  2. Why is the iPhone plugged into the laptop? Am I missing something? The same could be done with any PDA, or a laptop for that matter…

    Simplify it and do the same using SMS2email from any standard cell phone. SMS an email to a server waiting to receive instructions, which then sends them to the UAV

    No NEED for expensive iphone or Wifi for that matter.

    Use cell networks. Thoughts?

  3. At a guess I would say that the Iphone is been charged via usb from laptop. But its true why use the iphone browser when there is a perfectly good laptop next to it? A hoax at best

  4. Boo… I expected it to be _in_ the UAV. Utilizing the GPS and accelerometers and camera and wireless connectivity. Erm… just realizing iPhone 2.0 isn’t out yet. But I bet it’s everyone’s dream when wanting to risk one to the sky.

  5. “Still, we can’t help but think that they’d have gotten more media attention if they had used a hacked Kindle instead.”

    It’s rare that a blog entry will make me laugh out loud but you did it!

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