The TrIMUpter, a VTOL Tricopter with ArduIMU+ V2 Flat

Today, my TrIMUpter v1.0 has successfully done its first outdoor flight. This is a VTOL Tricopter fully stabilized by the ArduIMU+ V2 flat and (with my firmware TriStab v1.0). No external gyro here, only the ArduIMU on board... The TrIMUpter is able to flight outdoor and indoor.

More photos at:

Stay tuned on:

Views: 3179

Comment by Jean-Louis Naudin on November 3, 2010 at 3:38am

The TrIMUpter, a VTOL Tricopter with the ArduIMU+ V2 from Jean-Louis Naudin on Vimeo.

Here a video of the 1st flight of the TrIMUpter...
Comment by Geoffrey L. Barrows on November 3, 2010 at 7:11am
Congratulations on your work. The fall foliage in the above picture is beautiful- Maybe you can record a bird's eye video from the TrIMUpter as you fly around the trees!
Comment by Ron Jacobs on November 3, 2010 at 8:14am
Would you be able to post your firmware as well? There are others interested in using ArduIMU for tricopters, not just quads.
Comment by Yves Gohy on November 3, 2010 at 9:23am
Hello,fine, I like your tricopter, simple, cheap. Just a question, why are you using the magnetometer? and the firmware TriStab is new?

Comment by Jean-Louis Naudin on November 3, 2010 at 9:32am
Hello Yves, the magnetometer is required to compensate the Yaw drift in the IMU, without a magnetometer you will observe that the yaw drift slowly during the hovering phase. With a common plane the yaw drift can be compensated with a GPS due to the motion of the plane. With a VTOL type craft which hover it is not possible to use a GPS because the heading can't be computed with accuracy. In my ADAV/VTOL you will notice that I have used a heading Gyro commonly used for helicopter (GY401 or HK401), this device is able to lock the heading...
My firmware is currently in alpha stage, so I need to cleanup the code and conduct more deep tests in flight, as soon as it will be ready for beta, I shall soon release on the web of course... If there are some TrIMUpter beta tester, here, they are welcome...
Regards, Jean-Louis

Comment by Jean-Louis Naudin on November 3, 2010 at 9:55am
Below the main parts list of my TrIMUpter v1.0:
- ArduIMU+ V2 flat (a 6DOF IMU)
- HMC 5843 triple axis magnetometer (Sparkfun)
- 3 brushless motors Hextronik 1300 Kv, HXM2730-1300
- 3 ESC Hobbyking SS Series 8-10A
- 1 servo Corona 919 MG 1.7kg/ 12.5g/ 0.06sec
- 1 Lipo battery 3S1P 11.1V 1500mAh
- 3 propellers CCW GWS EP0843

Below some detailled photos which shows the connections to the ArduIMU:

Comment by DODY on November 3, 2010 at 3:30pm
Bonsoir Jean-Louis, félicitation pour la réalisation du TrIMUpter v1.0:
Je vous ai envoyé un message ce matin sur votre email diydrone, mais je n’ai pas eu de réponse.
Est-il possible d’avoir un plan avec des cotes pour la réalisation ?
Dans le futur, est ce que le TrIMUpter v1.0 pourra voler en auto via un GPS ?

Comment by Jean-Louis Naudin on November 3, 2010 at 11:24pm
Hello Dody, I have already answered you yesterday in French to your email directly through you DIYDRONES mail box... Ok, I answer you here in english on the blog.

Thanks four your comments about the TrIMUpter. FYI for my TrIMUpter and for avoiding to spend time in mechanical construction, I have used a old Y-UFO (from La-Heli) mechanics as the ArduIMU dev platform taken directly from the shelf. I have already used this mechanics some years ago for another UAV project. I have removed the old original gyros and mixers and replaced them by the ArduIMU. So, If you want to build a the TrIMUpter, I recommend you to build a stronger Tricopter mechanics like my ADAV/VTOL v2.0, it is more robust a able to lift more payload. The Y-UFO mechanics is too much light and fragile...
Yes, I have planned to soon add a GPS to the TrIMUpter to get a position old. If I got sufficient power in calculation and enough memory I shall try to add some navigation feature... Today, I thing that for the navigation with flight plan (like the project that I have conducted with my Multiplex Cularis), it will be better to use the Ardupilot board with the arduIMU. In this case, the ArduIMU board will remains the main controller for the TrIMUpter and the ArduPilot board will act as the navigation controller with the GPS. I shall try to use the same EEProm mapping like the ArduPilot 2.7.4. By this way, it will be compatible with the flight mission planner software (Planifmission.exe) that I have previously used for the Cularis UAV project... Stay tuned..
Regards, Jean-Louis

Comment by Jean-Louis Naudin on November 4, 2010 at 6:20am
Hello, below a detailled photo which shows how to get the serial PPM output from a Graupner R16scan receiver required for the ArduIMU.

Regards, Jean-Louis

Comment by Jean-Louis Naudin on November 4, 2010 at 10:09am
Hello, the TrIMUpter tests flights are in progress and very encouraging (firmware, now v1.1). Here a video from a 2nd serie of Tests Flights in windy conditions.

TrIMUpter V1, a new serie of tests flights with wind from Jean-Louis Naudin on Vimeo.

Below some photos taken during these tests flights:


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