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Open Source Remote Control lets you pilot just about any drone

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Drones and other remotely piloted vehicles are inherently limited by their controls; you frequently have to switch controllers when you switch vehicles, and you can usually forget about customization. You might not have to worry if the Open Source Remote Control (OSRC) project gets off the ground, however. The long-in-development peripheral uses a mix of modular hardware and Linux-based software that lets you steer just about any unmanned machine. On top of a programmable interface, you can swap in new wireless modules and shoulder switches to either accommodate new drones or improve existing controls. You can also attach a 4.8-inch touchscreen module (typically for a first-person view), use cellular networks or even share one vehicle between multiple operators -- handy if you're at a flying club or shooting a movie.

OSRC is leaning on crowdfunding to get started, and the amount you pledge dictates just what kind of remote you'll get. The core unit, which includes 2.4GHz wireless and standard shoulder buttons, costs €480 (about $600); if you want GSM, GPS and the touchscreen add-on, you'll want to spend €1,250 ($1,565) on the Advanced kit. Both devices should arrive in April 2015 if all goes well. Either is relatively expensive, but they could easily justify themselves if you take your RC craft very seriously.

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