3D Robotics

Which Quadcopter should we adopt?

The DIY Drones and Sparkfun teams are thinking about selling and supporting one of the quadcopter platforms. But there are dozens of them out there--which one should we choose?

Here's what we need:

--Open source
--Cheap (sub $1,000 all in)
--Easy to make
--Full UAV--including GPS navigation and ground station.
--Capable of indoors and outdoors flight (ie, bigger than the Parrot AR.Drone, but not as big as the Hollywood-quality big camera lifters)
--Pretty mature in terms of software and community

Which projects fit the bill best?

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  • Got one !! coming out in july http://www.maximus-racing.com/fr/maxicopters/xaircraft_650.html

  • Moderator
    I could probably get this frame for OK price!

    I know you are going for a full system?

    Price for frame should be around 120-140 $.

    Length: 500mm (wing diagonal length)
    Height: 185mm
    Weight: 220g
    Material: Glass Fiber Air laminate +
  • Anyone know of a quad with a "shell" so the props don't dig our kids eyes out?
  • So to summarize it looks like diydrones is going to try to combine the best AeroQuad and ArduPilot into an even better quadcopter platform. I can't think of a better way forward. Awesome!

    It also looks like there will be some research into making an airframe. OpenPilot has an airframe, but maybe we can think of something better. My term of better is pretty open it could be simpler, cheaper, lighter, stronger, easier to manufacture, or something else.

    I suppose it's too soon to ask when you hope to have test flights and something in the store, but if you have an estimated timeline for this project I'd love to hear it.
  • Shouldn't the Quadcopter hardware be decoupled from the electronics to make a better set of alternatives?
    i.e. An airframe kit with motor/esc/propellor ?

    I am developing my own electronics based on a Parallax Propeller chip (a 32bit 8 core micro).
    see http://forums.parallax.com/forums/default.aspx?f=25&m=436063

    However, I have been looking everywhere for ideas of how to construct the airframe and motor/esc. In particular, I am unsure whether to use carbon fibre 10.5mmsq beams or aluminium. A kit for this would be a bonus.
  • Moderator
    I think that MultiBoard and Multi Pilot Project is better choice . Is possible to support different kind of of project on it.
    I yet port and implement aeroquad firmware : i2c / Hexa Mixertable / 1 Channel PPM Decoder
    Testing ArduImu and it work fine,too .
    Develop first variable pitch qaudricopter :)
    We're working on a hybrid Quad . VTOL airplane .
  • Developer
    It is great to see these two good quad productions will be joined as one. I hope to see some great results soon :)

    Way to go Jose, Ted and Chris

  • Developer
    Hi all,
    Thomas, this code supports counter-rotating props without modifications (my actual quad has EPP1047 counter rotating props...) I am also thinking in a flexible way to support + and x configurations...
    Ted, yes I am open to colaborate :-)

  • Hey all! I agree with Jose, the APM board looks ideal for a quad platform. I like the fact that it is using the Invensense gyros which are well immune to frequencies seen in quadcopter applications. I've been speaking with Chris and a partnership between DIY Drones and AeroQuad looks to be a good win/win situation. I would also look forward to collaborating with Jose in his excellent work with developing his DIY Drones Quad if he's open to it.

    Can't wait to start working with the board! The AeroQuad software should be a quick port since we already have common code that supports the Duemilanove and the Mega... it's pretty cool that we are all apart of the Arduino family!

    Ted (Mikro from AeroQuad)
  • Developer
    Hi all,

    Ardupilot Mega will be a winner for quadcopters.

    Cool features of Ardupilot Mega and new sensor shield for quads:
    - Arduino based
    - USB port for programming/debugging
    - ATMega1280, 128K program memory, lot´s of analog and digital I/Os
    - 8 channel PPM encoder (with 1us resolution)
    - 8 Servo Outputs (Hardware interrupt supported). We can easily modify the frequency for the ESC´s up to 400Hz. Resolution 1us.
    - Support different GPS (Ublox, NMEA, ...) using standard arduino libraries.
    - 16Mbit EEPROM Datalogger to record flights (very usefull for debug also)
    - Dedicated two way serial port for telemetry
    - External 12bit ADC. Sampling frequency is now 400Hz.
    - Invensense gyros (better with vibrations)
    - Absolute pressure sensor (Bosch)
    - Port for external 3 axis magnetometer
    - Output to trigger camera (Relay switch for cameras, lights or payloads).
    - Status leds and input switches

    I have tested the Ardupilot Mega with the beta sensor shield in a quad (60cm size) with very good results (I ported the ArduIMU quadcopter code). I have started the tests for the navigation algorithms.
    I think this could be a very nice solution and users will have an added value for his money becuase the same hardware could be used for planes and quadcopters...

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