Hi all,

  A couple of weeks ago I got bit by the bug to build a quadcopter from scratch.  I am purchasing the motors, ESC, battery, propellors, ect..., but I am designing and building the frame from raw materials.  I am programming the control system from a blank slate.  One of the things that will make this quad different than many others is that I will be attempting to track it's position in relation to it's start point purely from the accelerometer and gyro.  If that feature is successful, I plan to add the ability for it to fly autonomously by following pre-programmed way-points.  If the inertial position tracking doesn't work out, I'll just reprogram is to use standard Quadcopter controls and have fun with it.

  Here's a link to my Blog where I am writing about the process:

 http://philstech.blogspot.com/2012/03/quadcopter-project-overview.html

  Let me know what you think.  

~Phillip

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Replies

  • My latest blog post discusses the final parts of the physical build for my Quadcopter.

    http://philstech.blogspot.com/2012/06/quadcopter-build-status.html

    ~Phillip

    Quadcopter Build Status
    A blog about technology focusing on multicopters, my quaternion based IMU, and any thing else that catches my interest.
  • My latest quadcopter post is up.

      It discusses why inertial position tracking is not feasible with my current hardware.  This article will come as no surprise to some of you.  I have ideas I still want to try, but for now I will program my quad to use standard controls and have fun with it.

      I have no regrets with about trying.  It has been a fantastic learning experience.

    http://philstech.blogspot.com/2012/06/quadcopter-inertial-position-...

    Quadcopter: Inertial Position Tracking - RIP
    A blog about technology focusing on multicopters, my quaternion based IMU, and any thing else that catches my interest.
  • Latest post discussed accelerometer filtering.

    http://philstech.blogspot.com/2012/04/quadcopter-accelerometer-data...

    Quadcopter: Accelerometer Data Filtering
    A blog about technology focusing on multicopters, my quaternion based IMU, and any thing else that catches my interest.
  • What's the power rating, Kv, and operating voltage for your motors?

  • Hi Phillip,

    Good luck with your project, I always like to see other scratch-builders! I am sure if you stick with it you can get to something that flies nicely.

    Regarding inertial navigation/dead reckoning:

    I think your goals are ambitious, but will be very difficult to reach. I have tried something similar on a 32bit MCU and haven't gotten terribly promising results. One of the big problems is the accuracy of the attitude estimate. Even if the pitch or roll angle is off by only 0.1 degrees (which would be a spectacularly good result for hobbyist-class IMUs) you would accumulate a location error of 1/2 mile in 5mi - with everything else working perfectly... 

    I think you will find that you really need other sensors to aid in the localization problem.

    Marko

  • The latest post details assembling the frame:

    http://philstech.blogspot.com/2012/04/quadcopter-frame-assembly.html

    ~Phillip

    Quadcopter: Frame Assembly
    A blog about technology focusing on multicopters, my quaternion based IMU, and any thing else that catches my interest.
  • Latest post talks about my progress with the Inertial Position tracking:

    http://philstech.blogspot.com/2012/0...acking_29.html

    Quadcopter: Inertial Position Tracking Tech Update #1
    A blog about technology focusing on multicopters, my quaternion based IMU, and any thing else that catches my interest.
  • Latest update just went up.

    Quadrotor Post #6: http://philstech.blogspot.com/2012/0...and-motor.html

    Quadcopter: Parts Arrive and Motor Mounts
    A blog about technology focusing on multicopters, my quaternion based IMU, and any thing else that catches my interest.
  • I looked at your blog, and was curious as to what you do during idle time, where the core's not scheduled to process anything and is just waiting for the next scheduled time?

    Also, you have to be careful about frames of reference. Remember that your IMU is giving you data relative to the orientation of the craft.

  • Due to noise levels in the accel signals and reletively low resoloution, I don't think this is possible with the sensors. You will have to double integrate the accelerations to get distance data and errors wittl add up very quick.

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