For years, quadcopters have been a largely unobtainable toy for techies, but the R10 by Universal Air promises to deliver a hackable UAV for under $400.
While there are existing quadcopters at this price point, such as the Parrot AR.Drone, these craft are only slightly more than toys. The R10 on the other hand, is a vastly more capable system. Whether you just want to fly it around for fun, or have some kind of payload you want to fly on it (such as a camera), the R10 can handle it. (...)
Thanks to the R10s high payload capacity and the direct control offered via the Thalamus, it would be possible to do things like carry a small embedded computer (such as the Raspberry Pi) which has direct control over the aircraft. This could open up a whole new era of low cost unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), where students and experimenters can get a completely computer controlled aircraft up and flying for less than $500.
by Tom Nardi 20Oct12