Indoor fun with a tiny ArduCopter quadcopter

Do you have an Ardupilot Mega and shield and want some fun for little money? check this tiny quad... my last drone in family...

Some specs:
- Size : 26.5cm (10.4 inches) from motor to motor
- Motors : 18-11 200kv 10 gram motors
- Props : 4x2.5 (standard CCW props)
- ESCs : Turnigy 6A
- Battery : 3S610 (or 3S800)
- Sonar : Maxbotics LV-EZ0 [optional]

The nice part about this frame is that it use standard kite parts, so it´s very easy to construct and it´s perfect for some radical tests.
I tried to find a bit different design that also make the quad less simmetrical (it´s very easy to loss the orientation with a quad) and I wanted to do as small as posible to flight indoors...
At this size and weight it´s very safe and robust also. The props use prop savers and this help a lot in crashes...
I am not very good writing... so I took a lot of photos during the build phase and I created a build log:

This code supports a sonar for altitude hold and also has a battery alarm (2 alarms).
This quad works with ArduCopter code, but because how main board is mounted, actual code doesn´t work. This is the code that I used with this quad :
(as zip format: )
note that this will be integrated on main Arducopter code. Now is temporarily in a branch.
The PID gains are different than in standard ArduCopter, so you need to Initialize EEPROM on Configurator or put this ones manually:
-Stable mode: P : 4.8 ; I : 0.12 ; P_rate (D in configurator) : 0.4 ; Yaw : (4.5 ,0.15 ,2.8 )
-Acrobatic mode : P : 0.75 ; I : 0.1 ; D : 0 ; Yaw : (2.4 ,0.2 ,0 )

OK, but was all so perfect like in the video? I don´t believe that...
Yes, you are right, but fortunately this design is very crash resistance... and this part is also fun...

After all this battles I only needed a few drops of ciano in the crash with the lamppost :-)

What´s the real size?

On center, standard arducopter frame, on left, old ArduIMU quadcopter part III, on right-top this project.

And what about the automatic aerobatics on video?
I am starting to test a new function to do automatic aerobatics (Automatic Aerobatic Procedure). The idea is that you enable this function with a switch in the Tx to make an automatic predefined aerobatic and then automatically recover to a stable mode.
This is actually a proof of concept but works very nice. One limit here is the maximun rate of the gyros, in our case 500deg/s. If we exceed this, the IMU get confused...
An interesting point to note is that the IMU doesn´t loose the orientation in this hard movements...
The story is that I have never feel too much confidence doing flips manually with quads. Then I start thinking that with an automatic code we can get a precise timing and controled movement so maybe this could help to do better aerobatics. I started testing this function outdoor, on an open field but I was improving the code and got more tightly maneuvers, so tight, that I ended up doing flips with a quad inside my room!!!

Here is the code I was testing : (AAP function:
AAP.txt )
I implemented this functionality as a state machine where there are three kind of states:
- fixed commands for a limited period of time. (example : Apply a throttle command)
- fixed commands until we reach some IMU state (example : roll until we reach a certain angle)
- And a mix between this categories and a control (example : Throttle command + stable mode on roll, pitch, yaw)
There are many things to test and improve here but the basic concept works very nice...

If I can get a bit of help from a friend, I will probably made a carbon fuselage for this prototype...

Enjoy this “Science & Fun” mix...

Jose Julio.
Arducopter Team

Views: 32000

Comment by Mauro Rodriguez on November 15, 2010 at 12:09pm
Niceeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!! :))) Congrats!!
Comment by Earl on November 15, 2010 at 12:16pm
VERY impressive !!
Comment by Leon on November 15, 2010 at 12:43pm
WOW!! Impressive! Great job!
You might have a lot of wun with this quad!
I am a fan!

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on November 15, 2010 at 3:08pm
You are a god! You can fly and walk at the same time, and with no protective ring around the props!

Love the auto acrobatics at the end--this is clearly the future of the project. Go ArduCopter!

Comment by Jose Julio on November 15, 2010 at 4:00pm
Thanks Chris,
to be honest, I never dreamed to do this acrobatics inside house, so I am a bit surprised also about the performance of the ArduCopter and the IMU... and I think we can probably improve this a bit more...
and thanks to Ramon, my friend and camera in this video... and the other player in the tennis quad video!!

Comment by Sandro Benigno on November 15, 2010 at 6:18pm
Well... as you can see, I'm not your fan without a reason.
Awesome as always.

Comment by Jani Hirvinen on November 15, 2010 at 6:39pm
Sandro you said it :)
Comment by Patrice Mainville on November 15, 2010 at 7:40pm
Damn, I'm fan too!

Comment by Doug Weibel on November 15, 2010 at 8:27pm
Cool Jose,

Where did you source the "kite parts" and what size props are you using?
Comment by DODY on November 16, 2010 at 2:51am
Super José, beautiful work


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