BlimpCast, a project created by NAR members in the summer of 2012, is a autonomous blimp that will stream a aerial view of GCER 2013. A helium filled blimp supports a Arduino controlled gondola with vectoring propellers and various sensors to navigate autonomously.
Autonomous: A arduino uses four IR sensors to track its heading relative to a ground based IR beacon and a sonar to track altitude. Two propellers can be throttled independently and vectored up and down using a servo. The arduino uses independant throttling to steer the blimp into a circular pattern around the IR beacon, and the vectoring servo to hold altitude.
Radio Controlled: For GCER 2013, the blimp will be carrying a camera that will be streamed online. Due to the limitations of weight and consistency of the autonomous system, a RC gondola will be constructed for use during GCER. It will be capable of being piloted with a RC transmitter or joystick.
The autonomous BlimpCast gondola is almost complete. Motors and IR sensors are completely functional. The servo and Sonar have yet to be connected and tested. The code will be a ported version of Blimpduino code.