It seems like every day there is a new video of someone’s expensive quadcopter falling out of the sky for no reason. The risks of each crash are substantial. Property, people, and the quadcopter are all at risk. You can probably imagine the costs of repairing a car’s paint job or paying someone’s medical bills. We're not saying that a recovery system can completely remove these risks, but we believe that having one can help reduce the total damage by a substantial amount (sort of like an airbag in a car.) We also believe that the continued and widely publicized failures that occur will eventually lead to even more regulation than currently enacted, creating even more barriers for substantial progress in this industry.
The most effective aerial protection system around.
At North UAV we believe that the future of unmanned flight can bring the world amazing new products, services, and experiences. But right now these incredible new devices are a little bit hazardous when used incorrectly. That's why the team at North UAV has worked really hard to create Mayday.
Mayday is a super smart device that uses basic machine learning to determine if your quadcopter, tricopter, octocopter, or hexacopter is crashing. If it detects a crash it can deploy a wide range of servo based countermeasures.
You can program the Mayday to do a wide range of servo release motions to protect against a crash. This allows it to be used with almost any recovery system on the market. To make things easy, during this Kickstarter we are providing a couple great parachute options with our partner, Marsparachutes.com! Get high quality parachutes at a really good Kickstarter price!
Built like a brick wall.
Unlike many other RC/Multirotor products, the Mayday is fully input protected. What good is a safety device that can't protect itself? Since it is fully input protected, we can do space saving things like putting the servo connector right next to the battery connector.
Simple to Install.
Simple two cable interface and mounting makes installing Mayday a breeze.
Works as a standalone device.
The Mayday can be used all by itself without any connections to a flight controller. Connect the parachute release servo to the Mayday board then connect a small battery, and you're ready to go! Connecting the Mayday to your flight controller adds an extra level of control when flying. For example: You are about to do something totally unexpected and new, like a flip, and you want to make sure Mayday doesn't fire on accident. Simply adjust your RC servo input to the lower PWM range to tell Mayday not to fire and to try learning this new motion. Or adjust your RC servo input to the upper PWM range to override Mayday and to fire a recovery system.
From super charged rigs to power and play. Mayday works everywhere.
Mayday can work with any and every multirotor setup seamlessly. Because it uses machine learning to determine what your normal flight pattern is, you can use Mayday without having to enter in a ton of data or set certain perimeters for it to trigger by. Just power and go. Simple!
We're working with great partners.
We partnered with one of the best UAV parachute manufacturers in the world. Mars Parachutes has provided us with invaluable feedback and advice on how to make Mayday the best it can be. Some of the very first tests were done at the Mars Parachutes location.
Plastic Case: Made in the U.S. the shell is a special lightweight polymer perfect for flight applications. The acrylic top plate is also made in the U.S. and will be laser cut at the San Francisco Techshop. The acrylic top plate is made from a special UV blocking blend called OP3 Acrylite which is stronger and more scratch resistant than glass!
Weight: Mayday will weigh around 0.5oz (14.1g)
Size: Length 3(cm) 1.18(in) Width 3(cm) 1.18(in), Final height will be between 1(cm) to 1.2(cm) (0.4 in)
- Li-Po battery range: 1S, 2S, 3S, 4S (We are working on getting it up to 5S.)
- Voltage range: 3v - 17v (We are working to get it up to 21v.)
- You can easily use it with any RX channel capable of driving a servo. Our devices are made to guarantee functionality at these specs. By using the max or min voltage you will not be compromising the longevity or effectiveness of Mayday.
Sensors: The Mayday uses more sensors than the average smartphone. Onboard it has a high-resolution Altimeter to detect relative altitude, a 3-axis Gyroscope for rotation speed, 3-axis Accelerometer to detect angle and gravity, and a 3-axis Magnetometer to for angle and heading relative to magnetic north. No more buying separate IMUs that might not even work with your board.
Mayday vs Manual Release.
Some of the most commonly used multirotors on the market don't possess the functionality to add a parachute release to them, and if they do, it’s very limiting and prevents you from using something else like a camera gimbal.
In most of the crashes we analyzed, we found that mechanical failures were pretty rare, and that it was much more common for a battery connector to come loose, a flight controller to reset, or a complete power system failure to occur. All of which can prevent a manual release.
But it’s not about humans doing it better than machines. Humans, for the foreseeable future, will always be better at making certain decisions when compared to a computer. Mayday is not about beating or outperforming human intelligence. Mayday is about getting this technology (UAS, Quadcopters) to the point where we can trust it to carry out tasks autonomously; and to do it on a large enough scale to where it would be ridiculous for a human to monitor a single system in case of a crash.
For those that are still not convinced, Mayday does have a manual override and suppression input for those who still want some autonomous protection but want to be more in control.
Can it be updated? What if there is a glitch?
Although we didn’t show it in the video (or product pictures), we are working on a computer program to allow for easy updates and setting changes to the Mayday via USB. We expect to be able to deploy the software about a month or so after rewards are shipped. (Don't worry, we know the V1 of anything will always have a few bugs. You're covered!) Side note: We also have plans to use this software as a way to show usage stats and to increase our crash data knowledge base. This will allow us to detect patterns and possibly be able to spot warning signs, preventing a crash altogether.
Why we need Kickstarter Funds:
As you would expect from a complicated project like the Mayday, there is a lot of work involved in making sure that when it ships, you get a great product. We've gotten Mayday this far, but to get it where it needs to be we're going to need your help. Here’s the breakdown of what we will be using the funds for:
1) PARTS. PARTS? PARTS! Mayday has over 45 components that all need to be either created by us, or sourced from suppliers. Just the sensors alone make up 56% of the circuit board’s cost!
2) Assembly! Each Mayday system’s circuit board will need to be milled processed and then covered with components using big machines that cost a lot of money to use. By doing a Kickstarter we can order assembly in bulk and save a ton of money.
3) User software: The Mayday, as a device, is practically finished; but as a package, we want to do a couple of things. Mainly, we want to create software that can update the firmware, change core settings, and show usage stats. This will cost a little bit of money but nothing we haven’t done on other projects just with a much larger scale.
4) More testing. We want to be able to test the Mayday in more extreme conditions and to do that we’ll need to order more prototypes and send those versions out to some of our friends around the world.
We're Social! Talk to us.
We are always looking for ways to improve the Mayday. If you have any ideas or advice send us some mail to firstname.lastname@example.org (We may be swamped due to the Kickstarter so just hang tight and we’ll try to get back to you ASAP!)
A few clicks = a world of difference!
We are small, and can only shout so loud. Because you’re a busy person we made sharing super quick and simple, please spread the word by clicking the link below and sharing Mayday with your friends! It will only take a second and will help a lot!
Even if you don't end up backing us,
If you think that the Mayday makes the world a bit better or if you know someone who would be interested in the Mayday, please, help us get it out there by sharing Mayday as much as you're willing!
Risks and challenges
One of the biggest issues we realize is the reliability and functionality of the system. While we have tested many different types of crashes and have analyzed the most common causes of failure, we realize that we are not perfect and that there will be some scenarios that we cannot possibly account for in this version. The dynamics of flight and being able to recognize patterns that indicate functional flight vs. malfunctioning flight (crashing) especially in small aircraft such as quadcopters is an incredibly complex thing to do. That begin said, we have designed the Mayday to error on the safe side and to only deploy countermeasures when it has a high probability of being in a crash. Like any RC device, please do not use the Mayday in a situation where a failure to deploy could cause serious injury to people or damage to other's property!
Errors in the code: Mayday is going to continue long past its Kickstarter debut. We at NorthUAV have some big plans for user interaction and have allotted a section of resources toward allowing users to be able to update the firmware on their Maydays easily and with minimal effort. The cost of being able to update your Mayday is already factored into the price of your pledge level!
Manufacturing: We are experienced manufactures and we're confident that we can handle all the manufacturing necessary to get the Mayday into your hands in a timely manner. We have sourced all the plastics and will be manufacturing them within the U.S. on machines we already own. We have multiple supply channels for every single part on the circuit board. We know exactly how to get each board created and assembled within a reasonable amount of time and have left plenty of room in-case there is an unforeseen issue.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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