Eugene based 1 Bit Squared Company is one of the very few sources from where you could buy a brain for a tiny unmanned UAV. That’s right – the brain. The founder of the company, Piitr Esden-Tempski, stepped into the field of creating circuits and programs for UAVs. He found that there is a good number of customers looking for pilots for the UAVs.
The fact is that small toy like UAVs are easily available at stores, but they don’t have intelligent circuits and autopilot programs. Esden claims to have developed world’s smallest commercial autopilot for miniature drones.
A $300 Lisa/S circuit gives a brain to these drones. The circuit board weights 1.9 gram and measures 2-by-2 centimeters circuit board. The chip features GPS, a radio for RC control and Telemetry, a barometer, a 2-axis gyroscope, and drivers to control the rotors of the drone.
Not many could provide you this much in such miniature package except the military. You must have listened to Black Hornet drones use by U.S. They are no bigger than a human thumb.
The company is presently selling about 30 Lisa/S circuits every month, and 30% their customers are university students and researchers. We aren’t sure if there are others who provide specialized services in autopilots, development and drone programming.
The company had started to work in collaboration with researchers at the Delft University of Technology in Holland. The faculty wrote the programming while Esden worked on the hardware, and finally he was able to manufacture them for commercial purpose.
Although, U.S. Govt. is quite strict regarding the commercial use of UAVs for various reasons, but this company didn’t get an issues so far. Obviously, in a nation like U.S., the Govt. will have to go soft on the use of advance technologies and inventions, therefore, the next year going to see more flexible regulations regarding the use of miniature UAVs and quad copters.