May 14, 2011
I finally have the quadrocopter approaching completion! I have the frame completed out of 3/4″ aluminum square tube and Lexan. Each motor is held on the frame with a clamp mechanism made from Lexan. Each propeller is mounted to it’s motor with a prop saver. The electronics are all mounted and have mostly been all soldered together. Each of the ESCs (electronic speed controllers) is getting power from a circle of 10 gauge wire in the center. The Arduino is mounted in the center on stand-offs. Each speed controller is connected to the Arduino through a custom made connector. The battery (2200mAh 20-25C LiPo) is mounted to the bottom with Velcro. The battery connects to the power distribution system through an XT60 connector. The Arduino will connect to power through the on-board power connector (right now it’s running off of USB power).
Here’s a picture:
Right now I really just have to work on the code to make it run. So far I have code that gets an attitude (angle) measurement from the IMU. I have PID code from another project so I just have to implement that into this project. After that I just have to tune the PID and it’ll be working! The code is really the interesting part of this project. I’ll post an in-depth post on exactly how my code works and how you can change it to make it work for you once its finished. Also, I’ll post all the code, links, design drawings, and anything else that went into building this.
In the meantime, here’s a video of all four motors powering up a bit from computer->Arduino control:
March 21, 2011
Earlier this year in December I saw a bunch of videos of this new type of RC flying machine called a Quadrocopter. After some research I decided that I could build one for significantly less than the price of a commercial one. I was determined to build one of these. After many many more hours of research I found the code to be the most difficult part because of all the math that I haven’t learned yet. This project is finally starting to come together and I have most of the components needed to build it. This post will document my progress in building my very own quadrocopter.
Here is what I have so far:
I have 4 high power brushless outrunner motors with special Gaui quadrocopter propellers attached. I am using prop savers to attach the props. In the middle I have a 2200mAh 3S LiPo battery and an Arduino with a Sparkfun Razor 6DOF IMU. Also, not pictured, I have 4 18A ESCs to control the motors. The motors, ESCs, and battery + charger cost me about $80 with shipping directly from China. I already had the Arduino, but that normally costs $30. The IMU cost $60, which may seem like a lot, but it should give me an exact position reading of roll, pitch, and yaw.
Here’s a video of me testing one of the motors with a ccw rotation propeller attached:
These motors are extremely powerful. This single motor was able to lift the heavy vise enough to let it move from vibrations. And that was only at half speed! Just think what four of these will be like at full speed! This will probably be able to lift 5 pounds (made up statistic alert!) extra!