Long Tail Micro-Drones
Our first commercial autopilot, the Arduino-compatible ArduPilot, has been released and our goal of taking an order or two of magnitude out of the cost of an autopilot has been achieved: it's $24.95!
Combined with a RC plane, this makes it easy to build a complete UAV for less than $500, which is really kind of amazing. As exciting as that it is, it's also sobering to know that a technology that was just a few years ago the sole domain of the military is now within the reach of amateurs, so we spend a lot of time educating our community on FAA regulations and safe and responsible flying (always under 400 feet, stay within line of site, pilot always able to regain control).
The person behind this is Chris "Long Tail" Anderson, who designed this along with his now 11-year-old kid.
Global guerilla implications are kind of obvious; what I want to see are suggested uses for amateur science, environmental monitoring, or other tasks that don't end up involving high-explosives.
Open the Glossary:
Arduino -- inexpensive general-purpose computing platform, open-source in hardware specs and easily programmed with commonplace software tools.
UAV -- Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, a pilotless drone flyer able to follow a path without real-time guidance from a human.