Light, compact, multi-rotor, purpose built for mapping?

Every now-and-then, the topic comes up of what drone to get to do mapping. As the years have gone on, we’ve gone from having some affordable open options, to some affordable closed options, to increasingly no affordable closed nor free and open source option dedicated for mapping. Faine Greenwood has noted this on social media, and they would know: they pay very close attention to this space, even more than I do.

Quietly, Ivan Gayton (former MSFer, current Humanitarian OpenStreetMap team and other stuff) has been working on this on-and-off for a while, and recently reached out to an OEM regarding options, something he mentions here:

I told him I’d give him an introduction to gauge interest: who else really needs a sub-$1k, purpose-built mapping drone that also may happen to fit under that 250g regulatory ceiling for easy use lots of places? If we get enough people interested, this might be a very practical small or medium run of this critical part of the ecosystem. And who knows: maybe long-term, we can bootstrap real sustainability in this space.


I’d be spending almost that much to rework my Solo, so I am quite interested.

Can I commit? Not sure quite yet, unfortunately.

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This might be a good case for an Indiegogo type campaign; I think many FOSS enthusiasts would back this, if the specs are enticing enough and the price point isn’t too high.

I personally would seriously consider, but not without knowing full specs (including price) and a proof of concept render.


If it was sub-250g and they could somehow fit hardware for Network RTK (NTRIP) with RTCM 3.2 then in theory at that price I would buy several of them :slight_smile:


That 3DR drone is quite a beast and revolutionary for the time in 2015. It was my first. Still have it. I was a mod on 3DR Pilots.


Then we’ve probably seen each other there :slight_smile:

My plan was Li-Ion battery mod, BMSOne, PPK GPS (I have an experimental mRO unit), pingRx ADS-B, LightWare SF-20C… Yeah, it would have been an absolute monster.