I along with two of my teammates (Marco and Luc) at Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands had worked on building our first quadcopter from scratch around 2 years ago.
It was the best thing that happened to me and since then my life has been around understanding the behavior of multicopters and working with them almost every day of my life!!
My report was lying dormant in the shelf without much use. I saw that there was quite some interest at our university for it and since 2 years have passed I am allowed to make it public.
Here it what we did and documented everything 'step by step':
1) We did not know then, any (stable) open source so the only solution what get going ourselves. From accelerometers, gyros plucked from different boards and soldered on PCB to make it work. Wrote device drivers for it.
4) We wrote Kalman filtering, understood DCM algorithm and Quaternion to test sensor fusion. DCM and quaternion were both ported to Beaglebone and MBED microcontrollers.
5) Wrote our Wifi-console-GCS software, accelerometer and gyro calibration using Matrices/ offset computation. Thanks to my great teammates Marco and Luc (the real dutch guys :)
6) Autotuning was a great idea with step response, I thought of it and we did succeed! I am sorry Arducopter, but we were first in that :)
7) One of us attempted to create our own 4 in1 ESCs and flash it with firmware ourselves. We succeeded though with some final ESC response issues!!
8) Everything was done on Linux Beagle bone and then MBED microcontroller.
9) Concept of ball detection and tracking. Image processing using OpenCV :)
9) No GPS, that is why it is historic knowledge!
The result was a self developed software with a semi stable system (semi because there was some drift but it was still responsive and glad that we came so close). It was never published (maybe we were lazy). Link to our historic page, here and an old video here!!
Software/material for your reference will be available, on request. If you are passionate about this art, this will serve as a simple useful guide and history will repeat itself :)
Link to full report here