Hello all,


I'm a newbie here and trying to define 'specs' for my DYI drone project.

Here is what I thought so far:


1. Quad rotors drone (based on ArduCopter design?) I prefer battery operated electric motors so the drone is more quiet during the flight.

2. The drone will be controlled manually most of the time by human 'virtual pilot' wearing VR glasses from the ground.

3. Built-in 2 cameras (800x600 res. each) with realtime transmission of stereoscopic view to 'base station'. The cameras will be mounted so they can be rotated in horiz./vert. axis in realtime.

4. Use stereoscopic VR glasses (also 800x600 res. per eye) with head tracking motion sensor to receive the picture from cameras and be able to control the drone camera view by "pilot's head" movement.


5. Optionally the drone should be able to use simple autopilot and return to base(or whatever programmable waypoint) in case the remote control is lost or try to 'land safely' when something wrong happens.


So that are the basic features I'd like to have. But since I'm newbile to this field (I have experience only with programming, not with building real world hardware). I'd like to hear opinions of the advanced members here what is rally possible and what not in my project.


Some questions/notes for start:

- Is the Quad rotor based drone easier to control than airplane, helicopter or other multi rotor designs? I'm thinking in terms of the 'virtual piloting' of the vehicle so the pilot can mostly enjoy the virtual view and don't need to focus too much on difficult controls. Also I don't need to do any acrobatics..just 'stable' flight ;-)


- Is the electric motor based drone able to hold a camera(or even two cameras)? How much weight I can hold and what motors/batteries I'd need? How long the drone can operate on the batteries with such camera payload? (I'm interested in the maximal possible values of course ;-))


- What are the options for the video transfer solution? Is it even technically possible to transfer video from two 800x600 cameras running at least 30fps with good results? (Ofcourse if 2 cams are too much I'd be happy even with single realtime camera view)


-Is there anyone who have experience with VR glasses? I found 'suitable' VR glasses with 800x600 res. in range of $500-$1000 + motion sensor for about $200. Do you think such equipment could be usable or is that 'too cheap' for acceptable results? Any ideas?


-What is the maximum 'operational radius' of the possible remote control + video transfer? Is it technically possible to be able operate the drone at least with 3 miles(or km) radius?


Thanks in advance for any feedback, suggestions etc. which help me to make further progress with my project plans.


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Hey Fractalus,


Your 'specs' look like an invitation for a newbie to spend a lot of money and become frustrated.  Everything you want to do is very do-able, but doing it all on a first project may be asking for trouble.  I would break your project down into the following components/activities and then consider some smaller projects where you can get experience with these either individually or in lesser combinations.

  • flying a r/c aircraft
  • integrating FPV systems into an aircraft
  • flying by FPV
  • integrating and using an autopilot
  • doing stereoscopic FPV

Just my opinion :)


Hello Doug,


Ofcourse, your reply makes sense! :-) I know, I got so excited about all this stuff so I agree my 'specs' looks too  ambitious for a newbie. And thanks for mentioning the FPV acronym. That makes my searching for resources on the web much easier.

OT today I got in touch with my old friend - a real SW/HW guru(formerly missiles systems designer in the army). Luckily, he has experience also with related RC stuff and is willing to help me so I can't wait to start learn stuff from him.

I would love to read the aswers about all your questions but still,

I would defenetly consider Doug's recommandation.

For all of us who are creating in silence there first project, putting an eye in the sky is like a must. A dream perhaps ..

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