My name is Nickolas, and I'm new here. We are starting a new Unmanned vehicle systems course here at EMU, and I plan to do my senior/honors thesis project on the topic of UAVs. We are looking into what hardware to get for our course/project. The 2 vehicles DIY drones recommends do not have some of the features we want. We are looking for a fully featured vehicle with as many features as possible, including:
-Fully automated, from take off to landing. (That means landing gear)
-Complete tracking and communications.
-Camera integration. (is it possible to use the camera to avoid colliding with something like a water tower?)
-We want to explore different material options besides just foam.
-Electric motor, or Gas with a generator (I'm fond of electric myself)
-Fairly large size.
-Good payload capacity.
-High range (Is a few miles possible?)
I figured we would use the Ardupilot/Arduplane electronics.
The first vehicle my professor looked at was a Penguin B. I almost had a heart attack when I saw the price tag. He said we may buy one of those, but we want options to get 5 or 6 of a less expensive model for the class.
The following caught my eye, but as I have no experience with this stuff yet, I thought I should make this post.
Spektrum Alpha models. http://www.hangar-9.com/products/default.aspx?prodid=han4400
Telemaster Oversize series from Hobby Lobby. http://www.hobby-lobby.com/6_foot_telemaster_electro_arf_v2_oversiz...
Penguin B: http://www.uavfactory.com/prodcat/1
What do you think of those? Maybe you have some recommendations?
The general Idea I had for my project was to have a neon green colored ground area for take off and the drone would seek out a neon orange colored area where it would either land, pick up materials, or drop off materials. Can this be done?
So how did/is your build going?
If this is for the students (most of which are probably not experienced with R/C or UAS) I think you better pick a slower and easier to fly airframe. The reaper looks nice but from what I hear it is prone to stalling in the hands of a beginner. I'd recommend an electric, foam plane: Bixler, Maja, Skywalker or something like that.
If you are considering APM I'm sure you know that it's not *really* autonomous from launch to landing.. at least not until you get some experience with it and know how it behaves. Be ready to manually launch and land with APM.
If you are looking to get the planes ready to fly, check out the E382 from Event 38 (disclosure: it's my site). If you order without a camera it's just a RTF UAS that can fit your purposes pretty well and I'm happy to work with you on any custom requests if you need something different and you're ordering several planes. Feel free to get in touch!
I am interested in doing a similar project. however I want to use the Hangar 9 or the nextstar select ARF trainer, both are gas engines. I want to use the udrones, arduautopilot with sonar/collision avoidance sensor, altitude sensor, gps e.t.c/ I appologise in advance if this has already been discussed on the forum, but how would I go babout connecting the autopilot to these models?
I cannot recommend a novice setting up a gas/glow plane with the APM system today. There are some bugs regarding some configs and unless you had serious RC experience previously, not the place to start. Sorry.
We do not have collision avoidance code that I know of, so basically we meet none of your requirements.
I'm not saying it cannot be done by any means, just I don't feel comfortable telling you it's safe and tested, because it's not a config many if any have even tried.