This Kickstarter project is awesome (I'm a backer). The video above, from the San Jose State team doing this project, is inspiring. And they use APM 2.5!
From the listing:
What is HLQ?
We are designing and building a Heavy Lift Quadcopter (HLQ) which we are calling Incredible HLQ (sounds like "Hulk"). Like the super hero, HLQ will be able to lift and transport a huge amount of weight for it's size and cost. HLQ will be capable autonomously retrieving and delivering 50 pounds of payload.
How are we doing it?
In order to accomplish the 50 pound goal, HLQ will utilize a drive train powered by two gasoline two-stroke engines of about 12.5 HP each. Lift will be achieved using four commercial RC helicopter rotor heads spinning four 435mm blades. Selection of these blades were based of actual lift testing in our test rig which is featured in the video. Control is achieved by using the variable pitch control of the rotor-heads to change the lift output and induces torque of each rotor.
Flight control will utilize DIYDrone's Ardupilot APM2.5+ module. The Ardupilot is a open-source arduino based control board for UAV's. It has been widely utilized for many fixed wing, helicopter and multi-rotor flight platforms and has a proven track record. Best of all, the programming is already done for us.
In addition, we will be utilizing a computer vision system for payload identification and tracking using the OpenCV library on a Roboard RB-110. The RB-110 is a complete computer on a single board. It has a 486 compatible processor running at 1GHz and is capable of running, Windows, Linux or Dos. We will be using OpenCV through it's Python extensions to identify payloads and guide HLQ in for retrieval.
As students of San Jose State, we have a lot of resources available to us for designing and building HLQ. The Engineering department has a computer lab which has design tools such as PTC Creo, Solid Works, and Inventor. We have thus far been utilizing mostly Creo to design and analyze HLQ. We also have access to electronics labs, mechatronics labs, and product testing labs to help build and troubleshoot HLQ.
We are also just two blocks away from the San Jose TechShop which gives us access to lathes, mills, laser cutters, a water-jet machine, electronics equipment and more.
Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, we have made contact with members of the worlds top aerospace and mechanical engineering firms right here in the San Francisco Bay Area. We are designing HLQ with reliance on their knowledge and experience.
As you can see we have all the resources necessary to complete HLQ. But there is one thing keeping us from meeting our goal: funding! That is, of course why we are here on kick-starter, and why we need your help to make HLQ a reality!