Tag Archives: Mayday

21 smart crowdfunding campaigns you may want to back this week


Every Friday, we’re taking a look at some of the smartest, most innovative projects that caught our attention on Kickstarter and Indiegogo over the last seven days. 


ŌURA

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This ring-sized computer analyzes your daily activities to help you sleep and perform better. ŌURA has already well surpassed its $100,000 goal on Kickstarter.

Mycroft

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This A.I. platform is an open source alternative to Amazon Echo that allows you to play media, control lights and much more. Mycroft is currently seeking $99,000 on Kickstarter.

Fotokite Phi

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This GoPro-carrying quadcopter can capture bird’s-eye view photos while being leashed to your wrist. Fotokite is currently seeking $300,000 on Indiegogo.

Mayday

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This standalone machine learning device can detect when your drone is about to crash and deploy a parachute. North UAV is currently seeking $12,000 on Kickstarter.

LightBug

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This solar-powered tracker lets you find nearly anything (or anyone) using GPS. LightBug is currently seeking $77,782 on Kickstarter.

Ohm

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This intelligent car battery will never need to be jumpstarted, works reliably on the coldest winter days, and lasts twice as long as the average lead-acid battery. Ohm is currently seeking $50,000 on Indiegogo.

Formaker

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This four-in-one machine allows you to laser cut, mill, etch and 3D print a wide range of materials. Zhuhai CTC Electronic Co. is currently seeking $35,000 on Kickstarter.

Exploride

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This futuristic head-up display provides hands-free access to maps, phone calls, text messages, notifications, music and on-board diagnostics for your car. Exploride is currently seeking $100,000 on Indiegogo.

OnCourse Goggles

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This pair of point-and-click goggles allow athletes to stay on course, swim in a straight line in open water and receive real-time feedback. OnCourse Goggles is currently seeking $60,000 on Kickstarter.

uStepper

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This ultra-compact, Arduino-compatible board features an integrated stepper driver and 12-bit rotary encoder, enabling it to be mounted directly on the back of your Nema 17 motor. ON Development IVS is currently seeking $8,882 on Kickstarter.

OMO+

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This portable battery-powered gadget can illuminate your pool or hot tub for an awesome light show along with sound through its Bluetooth speakers. Andreas Haase is currently seeking $50,000 on Kickstarter.

Pearbuds

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This pair of super small, Bluetooth-enabled buds fit comfortably in your ear without a single cord and boasts a battery life of six hours. Pear Designs has already well surpassed its $50,000 goal on Kickstarter.

Trekz Titanium

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This pair of wireless, open ear headphones offer runners, cyclists, hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts superior safety, comfort and high-quality sound through bone conduction technology. AfterShokz has already well surpassed its $65,000 goal on Indiegogo.

Verti

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This Bluetooth tag clips and sticks onto anything you’d like to keep tabs on, all of which can easily be tracked right from your smartphone. Verti is currently seeking $10,000 on Indiegogo.

OrbMi

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This voice messaging system is reinventing the answering machine by having you communicate with family and friends using an orb. Retropreneur Labs is currently seeking $75,000 on Kickstarter.

go-e ONwheel

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This lightweight, add-on motor can transform your bike into an e-bike in a matter of seconds. Frank Fox has already well surpassed his goal of $55,253 on Kickstarter.

Lumma

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This smart appliance tracks, sorts and dispenses your pills whenever it’s time to take them. LITE is currently seeking $100,000 on Kickstarter.

Knut Water

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This connected detector can sense water, temperature and humidity to protect your home from water damage. Amperic is currently seeking $50,000 on Kickstarter.

Luvit

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This standalone “like” button gives you the ability to express your adoration for anything and everything, while also collecting input and other forms of crowdsourced data. Luvit is currently seeking $25,000 on Kickstarter.

iGia

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This smart home security kit is comprised of a central control unit, an HD camera, a motion sensor, a door/windows sensor, a smoke detector and an alarm trigger. iGia is currently seeking $10,000 on Indiegogo.

Nixie

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This highly-customizable, privacy-enhanced robot not only can serve as your personal companion, but can learn by doing, keep an eye on things, snap photos, receive weather and traffic reports, connect to household devices, and much more. Nxt Robotics is currently seeking $50,000 on Indiegogo.

If your project is powered by Atmel MCUs and you’ve been featured on our blog, be sure to download the respective badges here for use in your ongoing marketing efforts. 

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Mayday is like an airbag system for your drones


Mayday is a standalone machine learning device that can detect when your quadcopter is crashing and deploy a parachute.


Truth be told, the failure rate associated with drones is extremely high, no matter your skill level. Like the airbag in your car that will deploy when it senses a collision, the North UAV team has taken a similar concept and applied it to the world of unmanned aerial vehicles. Not only is having to repair your ‘copter after it plunges into the water or shatters upon hitting the ground quite pricey, the people and property below it are at risk as well.

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Designed with this in mind, Mayday is a standalone machine learning device that detects when your UAV is about to crash and deploys a parachute to guide it to safety. The smart on-board computer monitors a multi-rotor’s flight patterns and intervenes if something goes wrong by activating a range of servo-based countermeasures.

What’s nice is that Mayday is fully programmable. Using the two buttons on the front of the instrument, you can guide each servo head to the waypoint you want to go to in a failure event. You can even configure the Mayday to do an assortment of servo release motions to safeguard it against a crash. This allows it to be used with almost any recovery system on the market. And unlike many other RC products, the Mayday is completely input protected.

Easy to use, just as easy to install! That’s because Mayday features a two-cable interface and simple mounting, and seamlessly works with pretty much every quadcopter setup. Because it uses machine learning to determine your normal flight pattern, you can employ Mayday without having to enter in a ton of data or define certain perimeters for it to be triggered by.

Beyond that, it can also be used all by itself without any connections to a flight controller. Attach the parachute release servo to the Mayday board, throw on a small battery, and you’re good to go.

“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,” says creator Kyle O’Rourke.

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In terms of size, the unit measures roughly one-square-inch and weighs a half of an ounce. With an ATmega328P at its core, Mayday is equipped with handful of sensors, including an altimeter to detect relative altitude, a gyroscope for rotation speed, an accelerometer for angle and gravity, and a magnetometer for heading to relative magnetic north. Additionally, the device can be powered by a variety of sources, whether that’s a regular Li-Po to a couple of AA batteries.

Still reluctant? Mayday boasts a manual override and suppression input for those who still want some autonomous protection but need more control.

“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),” O’Rourke explains.

Currently live on Kickstarter, the North UAV crew has flown right by its $12,000 goal. Delivery is expected to get underway in November 2015.