No ground station
Programming in Wiring (Arduino based code)
Quadcoptor sensor suite
Pure Autopilot - No RC
can be built for under $200
I tossed the RC and gave it a "quadcoptor-like" sensor suite. It has 4 IR ranging sensors for obstacle avoidance/detection. With the Ultrasonic altitude sensor it can measure altitude. In addition to Right and Left Thrust, a third motor rotates the axle of the fan boom to change altitude.
I added wireless Xbee telemetry and in the next version could add a tilt compensated compass for more sophisticated navigation and control.
$200 limits the largest indoor envelope to 52" and has max lift of 120-130g. There is a larger commercial one that will add 30-50 g of lift but its dang hard to find so it slightly more expensive.
My final mass is 121g.
Parts and mass list below:
Sharp GP2Y0A02YK0F Analog IR sensor x4 5g, 33mA, $15ea $60
Devantech SRF02 Ultrasonic sensor (I2C) 4g, 4mA $25
-or- MaxSonar EZ-1
Pololu Baby-O 329p w/AVR programmer kit 4g ~50mA $28
Pololu TB6612FNG controller/breakout 2g, 2 motors up to 1A $8
5v switching Power Supply (robotshop) 4g (1A limits motors) $15?
7.4V 450mAh LiPo pack x2 (ebay) 28g $8
Harness (ebay parts)
(RC JST- connectors and Lipo battery connectors) 12g $15
10k resistors x 2 for I2C
50-100 uF capacitor
Chassis: Tamiya Universal 70098 plate (pololu) 13g $6
I pulled a motor and fan set from a small cheapo RC blimp and super glued them to a tamiya bracket to pin into the chassis board. Some thing like these may let you build up your own and maybe save a few grams.
Fans (Syma-032 tail units) x2 (ebay) 5g, N/A, $8 ea $16
Elevations control (mini servos) (ebay) $3?
XBee (Optional but convenient): I added an Xbee series-1, 1mW radio on a Sparkfun Xbee regulator breakout board. If you dont have these laying around and want them, 2 $22 radios and 2 $8 boards will set you back ~$60. You can use the Pololu AVR USB programmer serial port (or an FTDI cable) to solder or breadboard into the Xbee regulated, but you will need a jumper of some sort because the sparkfun board pinout has TX/RX swapped relative to the serial (or FTDI). I only ever got my Xbee working for serial IO. Not Bootloading. So I need the AVR 6-pin ISP port for programming. I change COMM ports on the Arduino IDE Serial Monitor and I get data OR can program. It works well enough.
Using quadcoptor sensors posed some weight and pinout problems I had to solve but they free you from the groundstation and free you up for some potentially cool control A.I. and payloads - and I found a way out with the super cool Pololu Baby-O.
The Pololu gear has good tutorials but it is not like getting running on an arduino Uno. By the end of the tutorials though, you will be free to program in a real compiler that will let you use any language you want. I stuck with Wiring hoping to find some open source code to help me get started. What I found was that I had to build up the code from scratch.
Currently the code just verifies I built the harness right. All motors and sensors are excercized and verified but no control, at least not tonight. My Pain, your gain. Im happy to share my code with anyone who wants it.
Hi berto I m working on a proyect like yours but with bigger 12' envelope blimp I was thinking to assemble the blimpduino
new board, any sugestion?