i'm (skilled) software developer, and I'm building with a friend (skilled mech) our first UAV.
I have problem figuring out how the needed basic components...
I'm planning to use ArduPilot Mega 2.
Do I need also an IMU or witha Arducopter and APM2 I have all the basic support to fly?
the target of the project is to build up a full autonomous UAV (from takeoff to landing, through planned mission) so any help on components and general tips will be very appreciated.
I'll install a camera in a second phase... but by now i need to find a cheap RC to test the frame...
Also can anyone point me to a FAQ ,or good online resource on APM integration?
I know.. i'm a bit confusing.. but i don't know where find reliable information.
Here are some links:
To answer you question, it sounds like you are making a multicopter. You need:
A battery (lipo)
A battery charger
A power distribution board or harness (electrically connects all your ESCs to the battery)
A set of battery connectors (deans, XT60, etc) to attach your battery to your PDB or power harness
One ESC for each "arm" of your multicopter
A set of connectors to attach each ESC to the PDB/power harness
One motor for each "arm"
screws and motor mounts to attach the motors to the arms of the frame
A set of connectors to attach each motor to each ESC (usually 3, 4 or 5mm bullet connectors) - but you can skip these and solder the cables together directly, which is sometimes recommended to reduce failure points
A soldering iron
some shrink wrap is recommended to cover over the solder joints and make it look pretty
One prop for each motor, 1/2 of the props should be clockwise and 1/2 should be counter-clockwise
Prop adaptors to fix the props to the motors
One radio control transmitter, at least five channels. 8 channels is best. Mode 2, Airplane (i.e. don't configure it for helo)
One radio control receiver
Five servo cables to connect the RX to the APM
Some type of vibration isolation (.99 cent foam from an art supply store, rubber vibration isolation screws, etc) to reduce the motor vibration effect on the APM sensors.
Some type of screws or fasteners to attach the APM to the multicopter frame
Some type of fasteners, velcro, or zip ties (or a combo of all of them) to attach the ESCs, RX, PDB/power harness to the frame
An APM2. Order the APM with the daughterboard with installed GPS and magnetometer.
You do not need a separate IMU, all the sensors you need for a multicopter are included on the daughter board.
The USB cable that came with the APM2
A computer with USB, Windows XP or 7
The Mission Planner software
An Internet connection to download the current firmware, and for access to online (or pre cached) maps for mission planning, and access to the manual and this forum
Optionally, I recommend you get a 3DR telemetry kit that is appropriate for your country. I think for most of Europe, it is the 433Mhz model
Spare parts (an extra frame arm or two, a few extra props)
Optionally, a multimeter may be helpful
A lot of patience
Good troubleshooting skills
Optionally, a sense of humor helps
I hope this helps.
Thank you for the help!
A last (...) question: do i need sonar? air speed sensors?
And, is it possible to program camera ptz from APM2? or i need a different board for the "camera"?
You don't need a sonar to start with. It can help for low altitude control, but it is complicated to get working well. Electrical and EF interference is common. Start without it.
The airspeed sensor is not of much value on a multicopter. If you build an airplane, get one.
What is "ptz"?
I have read your links. Very usefull!
But I have not found some more "theory-related" question...
I would like to undersrand pro/contro of the different configuration (quad vs hexa vs octa vs Y vs tri...)
and, how to choise engine? servos? or "generic" brushless?
Which is the better way to compute engines power for a defined payload?
There are many posts that discuss the pro/cons of each different type. Ignore them for now. Build a quad. After you have a working quad, then you can go learn about tri/hexa/octa and other frame types.
If you do not already know how to chose motors and props for your airframe, don't build your own. Go get the jDrones or 3DR kits. *after* you have built one that works, then you can learn about motors, props, designing your own frame and so forth.
Thank you Mike... mine is just "curiosity"... I'll work on the sw/camera part of the project... mech and engine wull be set up my colleque.
I think we'll buy an hexa "ready to fly".. we'll study it than we'll replicate it on larger scale...
do you know which payload can be used with the 3dr kits?
PTZ=pan tilt zoom.
Ie camera that can be remoterly moved and zoomed...
By which, do you mean capacity? Or are you asking specifically what devices you can attach?
You do understand this is DIY, yes? Not a commercial package with specific, fixed payload options....