List of suggested skills for someone who wants to DIY a DRONE

I made this non exhaustive list of skills which are nice to have if you want to build your own UAV.

I think a basic handle on all of these skills will greatly help anyone who wants to build a UAV. If you want to build a UAV, and lack a lot of these skills, don't take this to mean you cannot do it, just understand the magnitude of the difficulty, and be prepared to press on in the face of adversity and to teach yourself a lot. When I decided to build a UAV, I had never even flown an RC plane or even been to a flying field. I had to learn all of the RC skills first. So, you can do it too, if you don't give up.

>Experience with C
>Able to compile software
>Can program embedded systems
>Know how to find the appropriate resources for support (forums, mailing lists, wikis, etc.)

Radio Control Aircraft
>Be able to take off and land with confidence
>Be able to fly simple patterns
>Understand model aircraft setup
>Be able to make simple repairs to model aircraft
>Be familiar with tools and techniques used for model aircraft
>Understand the care and usage of lithium polymer batteries
>Be a member of the Academy of Model Aeronautics (For access to certain flying fields)

>Familiar with embedded systems
>Know how to interface electronic components to micro controllers
>Be able to locate, read, and understand data sheets
>Know how to troubleshoot electronic systems
>Understand signal timing
>Be able to solder small components and wires
>Be able to fabricate wiring harness
>Be able to read schematics

Control Theory
>Understand PID control

>Able to learn without guidance
>Strong ability to troubleshoot systems

Views: 1087

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on October 29, 2008 at 8:31pm
Great list, Cory! I just wanted to reinforce your point that this is the FULL spectrum set of skills--people shouldn't be scared off if they don't have all of them. (That includes me--I suck at landing!). You can substitute by either buying an off-the-shelf autopilot or having someone help you with stuff like flying.
Comment by Cory on October 29, 2008 at 9:35pm
I second the suck at landing part. So far I do better with the landing gear off. The Nexstar does well when hand launched. I just reinforced the bottom skin and covered the holes with clear packing tape.

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on October 30, 2008 at 5:08am
I like the look of that. Break any props?
Comment by Genesis Factor on October 30, 2008 at 5:16am
it's true, but add C++, C#, Visual Basic, and a variety of languages. That is my main weakness and it is CRIPPLING.

On the other side, i think this community has a lot of talent and we really should help each other out more with bolstering us on our weaknesses and helping others with our gifts. I've been working with a few peoples. maybe we should get a discussion on that too.
Comment by Cory on October 30, 2008 at 8:36am
I have not had any trouble with the props, but at $2-3 each it is not a big deal if one gets broken. Also, the plane flies so much nicer without all of the drag from the gear. And I can land in fairly tall grass.
Comment by Huey on October 30, 2008 at 9:03am
It’s a good shopping list of the skills required to build a UAV. Following on, what about setting up a list of people in selected areas interested in collaborating to build a UAV. It would bring together people with different skill sets.
For instance,like "Genesis Factor" I would be familiar with the RC and electronic aspects of the hobby, but I know very little of the programming aspects, if I could team up with a programmer interested in Uav’s but with no RC experience it would be great.
Any thoughts?

Comment by Geetesh Dubey on October 30, 2008 at 9:17am
dats where i come in....absolutely no hands on RC flying ever....i guarantee though i can fly ...i have been a really good flight sim pilot...i tried my hands on the draganflyer quad indoors and i guess others were envious who had been given complete liberty to fly...(its in genes hehe...)...
I rather would say the list shud have
1)PASSION for UAV development(shud be able to keep awake all night workin on development and not crib on losing marks or score in college)
2)LOts of money or a good sponsor(i have a good impression i college so i get wwht i demand)
3)weird ideas(shitplace is the best place to ponder..hehe)
4)and not the least


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