The Lisa/S chip eill enable “a wider range of civilian drone applications”
The world’s smallest drone autopilot system has been released as open-source.
The Lisa/S chip, a tiny four square cm and 1.9g, is a small bit of silicon that delivers everything you need to autopilot an aerial drone.
The system is over 30 grams lighter than its predecessor, according to the chip’s designers as the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.
They have also decided to release both the hardware and software as open-source.
"The main reason we chose open source is that we want to make it available for society," says the project’s leader, Bart Remes.
He envisions open source drone technology enabling a wider range of civilian drone applications, from agriculture to search and rescue.
"Before, only the military had access to this type of technology," he says. "My vision is that within a few years, every fireman [will have] a drone in his pocket."
Mr Remes has been flying RC aircraft since he was young, and started building drones ten years ago as a student at Delft. He said it turns out micro drones are a great way to teach aerospace engineering because they are relatively cheap, safe and easy to program.
"At university, a lot of students are working in a compute simulation and never see the real world," Remes says. "With MAVs (Micro Air Vehicles), they get to see the real world."
His student work turned into a full-time job as the head of the university’s MAV Laboratory, which is responsible for projects like DelFly, a small wing-flapping drone that resembles a dragonfly.