Looking for a AGILE 1000mm Quadcopter build

Hello, my first post here. I've spent the last month doing research on multi-rotor copters (was completely new to drones). I have came across lots of helpful posts in blogs (http://blog.oscarliang.net, DIYdrones, rcgroups, etc) but I can't seem to find the answer I'm looking for so I figured I can take a shot in here.

I'm looking to build an agile 1000mm quadcopter than can maneuver/accelerate fairly quickly (similar to some drones I've seen warthox fly). I'm not looking for much top-speed but I prefer the ability to make sharp turns and possibly some acrobatic maneuvers. There will be not much additional payload weight after the usual components (flight controller, sensors, battery, etc). So in other words, there won't be a GoPro or any thing that will add lots of additional weight. 

Has anyone came across any builds similar to what I'm looking for? Thanks in advance!

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  • We've decided to go with an APM 2.6 as this looked like a great deal from ebay ( http://www.ebay.com/itm/APM-2-6-ArduPilot-Flight-Controller-GPS-3DR... ). I just bought a Turnigy 9x from HobbyKing because of the great price and the support/guidance to mod the heck out of it. A frame is next. I'll keep you guys posted.

  • You can build virtually any size and configuration you want with RotorBits.

    http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__1247__501__multi_rotors_...

    Lots of info on the interwebs...

    • This looks interesting. Thank you!

  • Why does it have to be 1000mm?  That's actually fairly large.  The small acrobatic ones that Warthox fly are typically about 250-300mm.  I daresay you'll never get a 1000mm quad to fly like that.  I would suggest you keep it under 600mm for what you want, which is still plenty big enough for what you need.  It'll be safer too.  1000mm is getting a bit large and dangerous.

    • Thanks for the reply Rob. It doesn't have to be 1000mm, I just figured bigger would have been better for a target. I'll look into some 600mm builds!

      • Hey Manny 

        I have found two very detailed builds on tricopters on OscaLiang. 

        http://blog.oscarliang.net/build-fpv-tricopter/

        http://blog.oscarliang.net/tricopter-beautiful-hd-fpv-rcexplorer/

        They look pretty large but you can tweak the arms and specs according to your needs.

        They also logged the build in a lot of detail so it should help a lot. Keep in mind that the dynamics of a tricopter is a bit more complicated than quads. 

        I like your idea though. Please keep us posted and blog the progress of the build and the results of the testing and the event. I think you'lle need to put some time into component research and perhaps test a couple of prop / motor / frame size options until you get to a result that works best for you. The second link's frame is built from wood so it will be quite ease to experiment with frame size and if planned properly, interchanging components like motors and motor spacing should be quite easy and fast to do. 

        Hope this helps. Keep me posted ... looks like a REALLY nice project. :D

        Have good one. 

        • My team would like to stick with a quad for simplicity in design. The hardest decision we're faced with right now is the flight controller. I was intrigued by the Lisa/M 2.0 from Paparazzi but those things are sold out everywhere. Our next option is looking like a Pixhawk. Have you heard of anyone modifying/adding plug-ins to the waypoint algorithm in Mission Planner? Like I said in the op, we'd like to map an area and have the copter fly custom patterns inside of that area. Our grade depends heavily on software dev and circuit design, not so much the actual drone itself. We can buy a DJI and mod it if we wanted to but I want to experience the DIY build process for the fun and education.

  • Hey Manny 

    Suggesting a build is very much up to knowing the purpose of the build since that dictates what needs to go on the build. I know you said you don't want something that will carry a lot of payload, so we know what it will not do. 

    For sharp turn I suspect you'll be looking at a tricopter layout but if you are new to the drones I'll advise you to either build a small quad first. This will teach you the theory of the build dynamics as well as teach you to fly the craft properly before investing in a large (and probably quite expensive) design. 

    Why are you looking for such a large frame though? 

    With some more info I'm sure we'll get a nice discussion going here. 

    • Also, how small is small? Do you suggest any specific builds as a first? I've seen many blog posts on different DIY builds.  Are there any that jump out to you right away which will give me experience for my project? 

    • Thanks for the fast reply! I'm a senior computer engineering major at UCF and were doing research for our capstone project. We were thinking of combining duckhunt, laser tag, and skeet by putting sensors and receivers on the uav while players use laser guns to shoot for a high score. We were thinking about modifying Mission Planner to layout a playing field area where the copter will fly inside. In there the uav will fly certain patterns (based on difficulty level selected by players). Beginner will be a basic flight pattern at low speeds, int would be another more complex flight pattern like a star at a faster speed, etc. There will be a raspi server on the ground that receives the hit counts of the players from the uav which will display realtime scores and statistics on a webapp. Hopefully this helps! Thanks again

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