What could be more fun than hacking an RTF quadcopter to fly with your own custom firmware? How about hacking with your own DIY Arduino-compatible 32-bit flight controller? This…Continue
Looking around for an inexpensive, almost-ready-to-fly brushless-motor quadcopter to use a basis for indoor flight-control research, I was delighted to come across the Altair Aerial Blackhawk. With its extra-long extension legs and GoPro mount (which I…Continue
Originally developed as an MAV flight simulator, Microsoft's AirSim program recently added the ability to drive a simulated car. Although my own interests lie on the MAV side, students in my recent AI / Deep Learning…Continue
In earlier posts I described HackflightSim, an open-source quadcopter flight simulator built on the V-REP robotics simulation platform, using actual C++ flight-control firmware. After seeing the kinds of beautiful,…Continue
This video shows me flying a Syma X5C quadcopter, with the factory closed-source flight controller replaced by a Quanum Pico 32-bit brushed FC. I followed the directions in the "Visible Drone" chapter of this excellent new …Continue
This video shows the maiden flight of my new brushed quadrotor, a “totally DIY" project using my own C++
firmware (Multiwii clone with hardware abstraction), 3DFly
3D-printed frame, and, best of all, a 32-bit brushed-motor…
In earlier posts I wrote about PyQuadSim, a Python-based flight simualator built on top of the Virtual Robot Experimentation Platform (V-REP). Although PyQuadSim enabled some pretty cool projects, it relied on a…Continue
Added by Simon D. Levy on May 31, 2016 at 7:22pm — No Comments
This is a follow-up to yesterday's post. As promised, I wanted to provide some information about the C++ firmware running on this little quadcopter.
Following in the Baseflight / Cleanflight / Raceflight / Betaflight naming tradition of the 32-bit Multwii lineage, I call this firmware…Continue
I wanted to try my hand at a true "DIY" project, designing and building my own micro quadcotper frame and writing my own firmware in C++. In this post I will describe the frame and build; in my next post I will talk about the firmware.
Excluding stuff I had lying around the shop, (heat-shrink tubing, EC-3 connectors, velcro, cable ties, etc.) the cost came to just under $170:
This video shows me checking the size of the flash RAM (memory) on an MRC Naze32 (ARM STM32F103) flight controller from MultiRC. Because I am loading my own firmware onto the board, I have to short the bootloader pins on the board, via some male jumper wires I soldered on.
These inexpensive FCs with onboard flash RAM are sold for use with the Blackbox logging feature in Cleanflight, but I wanted to…Continue
This video shows the 250mm quadcopter from my previous post, holding altitude by means of its MaxBotix MB1242 ulatrasonic rangefinder (sonar). The Flip32 flight controller onboard is running a modified version of the…Continue
In a recent post I showed how to get live IMU telemetry from a Flip32 flight controller using an inexpensive Bluesmirf Bluetooth modem from Sparkfun. After getting that to work I figured it was time to branch out to some external sensors.
Added by Simon D. Levy on January 6, 2016 at 7:40pm — No Comments
Since posting the BreezySLAM package for Python and other languages, I've received several inquiries about supporting the Lidar unit on the XV-11 vacuuming robot from Neato Robotics. Although I have an XV-11 and a…
This video shows a Flip32 flight controller ($15 from re readytoflyquads.com) onboard a min 250 quadcopter, sending IMU attitude telemetry (pitch, roll, yaw) to my laptop via a Bluesmirf Bluetooth module ($35 from sparkfun.com). The Bluesmirf connects to the Flip32's UART via a four-pin jumper cable, also from Sparkfun ($.095).…Continue
Added by Simon D. Levy on December 17, 2015 at 11:27am — No Comments
In my last post I showed a Flip32 flight controller talking to a PX4Flow unit using the I^2C protocol. Once that was working, I wanted to mount the PX4Flow to a vehicle and make a more permanent cable connection.
For the mount, I used Tinkercad to design a simple rectangular …Continue
I added a few lines of code to the Baseflight firmware to get optical-flow velocities and sonar altitude from a PX4Flow unit connected to a Flip32 flight controller over I^2C. In the video you can see the readout on the laptop showing the computed X/Y flow velocities (meters per second) and distance (meters), multiplied by…Continue
Having received many positive emails about my Extended Kalman Filter Tutorial, I wanted to see whether I could write my own general-purpose EKF from scratch, suitable for running on a microcontroller like Arduino, Teensy, and the STM32 platform used on today's popular flight controllers (Pixhawk, Naze, CC3D). I…Continue