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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  • I'd just like to voice my support of this idea. I had been thinking about doing a quadcopter (with adaptations for high quality photography) and had been contemplating going with something like AeroQuad or perhaps merging that software into the ArduPilot mega hardware when that comes out. That said I have been spending all my spare time on my Camera Axe project so I just haven't had time. Most likely in the next six months I'll just pick one of the quadcopter projects. After I get the basics working, I'll modify it slightly for my needs.

    If diyDrones takes a project that's out there and applies a bit more polish and makes it more accessible to the community I think that will be a top contender for my needs. I would hope that you could get the author of the original project on board with the diyDrones project since while this isn't required in the open source community I know I appreciate it when others work with me on to expand my open source project instead of just branching it.
  • Hello All:

    I have been RC cars for years and just recently started building my first quad copter the Aeroquad.
    The people in their forums are VERY helpful!

    The next iteration of the AeroQuad Shield ver 2.0 is in the works.
    Please come check us out.


  • What about starting up a Quadcopter based shield for the ArduPilot Mega or even ArduPilot? ArduPilot Mega main board would be a capable main controller. The community could create the shield with custom sensors and features specific for a quadcopter. The guys at AeroQuad already uses Arduino for their main controller. Maybe some persuasion is in order. :)
  • Chris,

    I think one of the requirements for a DIY Drones platform should be "Arduino based". The Aeroquad is one of the better known units, but there have been a few others as well I believe.

    I would not consider the UAVX a good choice (not that it seems to still be in the running) partly because it's not Arduino, but mostly because the hardware is already supported quite well by the Quadroufo shop.

  • Chris,

    Thank you for the prompt, and may I say rather blunt response.

    I did not however ask you to "adopt" UAVX which is going just fine by itself. My suggestion was that you consider listing it under other APs.

  • Hi Chris,

    It seems to me that UAVX and the associated hardware obtainable from www.quadroufo.com satisfies the criteria for listing under "Other APs" in that it is actively used forum members and has their support, it is open source and the hardware is readily obtainable commercially.

    The relevant links are contained in Jim and Don's posts.

    You may wish to consider this.

  • I vote for the AeroQuad it's...

    --Open source
    --Cheap, about 400$ if memory serves me correctly.
    --Easy to make. You can follow wiring directions or better yet use the AeroQuad shield (http://carancho.com/AeroQuad/store/index.php?main_page=product_info...)
    --Full UAV is currently under development, including GPS navigation and ground station.
    --Capable of indoors and outdoors flight. There is currently a small 544 gram version (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wg5KSKa9Ol4&feature=player_embedded) but most of the ones that have been built are twice the size at 1000 grams and can carry 500 grams. A VTOL airplane is currently being tested with it to further enhance it's performance (http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=3200283)
    --Has a very active community. This thread is basically about the AeroQuad (http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1066119). It also has it's own forum (http://aeroquad.com/forum.php).
    -Currently uses basic hobby PWM ESC's. 12c is being worked on as well.

    If you can't wait for the GPS, ground station and such to be finished then I'd consider UAVX.
  • Hi Chris,
    I have been flying quadrocopters and doing impovement mods to various quads including the XUFO, X-BL/Funpilot, Experimental brushless Draganflyer, UAVP and Mikrokopter v1-1.3 for the last 7 years. For the last year, I have been helping Prof Greg Egan with flight testing his complete re-write of the UAVP code and true open source flight firmware now called the UAVX. The UAVX only required an easy plug-in PIC upgrade to the original board. The current release v1.897 added GPS position hold and return to home. The next releases will include telemetry and ground station software, waypoint navigation and software, auto landing with ground sensing and and ultrasonic altitude detection and calibration for the critical landing feature, The firmware also allows the UAVP board to be configured as a traditional tricopter with a servo motor tilt. I am finalizing flight test this week while Greg is on a well-deserved vacation. It is a mature quad board and code. Our RCGroups forum is here with the first two posts continuously updated with build info by Greg and I: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1093510 Our SVN is here: http://code.google.com/p/uavp-mods/
    For your consideration.
  • Moderator
    Just a question but before you choose on which platform to start making and selling their platform, don't you need to ask the creator if they will let you? Because that might just be the deciding factor to which quad copter platform to choose??? And i think this would also play a factor on the cost.

    I could be wrong, but i was under the impression that you will need to ask the creator, but since they will also be open source do you only need to say who made it and publish all changes as open source too?

    And i will add a link posted here on diydrones to help ppl decide, it is a mega thread on RC groups showing all the quad copter platforms Here
  • I'm glad this has been mentioned. I was thinking about buying one next month but I'm going to wait now until DIY Drones Start selling. Chris once you have decided on a platform have you any idea roughly how long it will take to appear in the store ?

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Aug 25