Using an Phillips NXP LPC20148 ARM7 processor, a Nintendo Wii motion+, and some xbees I've made a really stable platform for quads. (mode details here) It is running FreeRTOS which makes it very expandable in the future. My old frame flew great with it, but I wanted something smaller. Enter my new carbon fiber mini-quad: 

Here's the plug-and-play LPC flight controller. The motion+ is inside and wrapped in foam. The XBee plugs in to its' socket on the top. The ESCs plug in back.

Here's the remote. I can easily adjust the PID gains, and it sends them to the flight computer before taking off (there's no eeprom on the LPC). You should see the difference 0.05 on the pitch and roll I term makes in stability. 

Not bad for an computer engineering undergrad in their spare time, with no class credit, and on the budget I get as a photojournalist for our paper, eh? This is remote v1.5, and remote v3.0 is in the works. Here's a sketch I drew a couple of weeks ago. 


Everything's open source! I hate seeing people's cool project, wondering how it works, then getting the promise of OSS sometime in the future. I want to see how asap. Well here's how I did it: The remote code. The copter code

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Comment by Sebastian Gralla on January 23, 2011 at 2:39pm

I like the remote, can you give us a little more info about it?

I see your remote code is an arduino sketch, so it's basically an arduino?

great work with acrylic

Comment by Tim O'Brien on January 23, 2011 at 2:48pm
Right. It's just a breadboarded older arduino (atmega 168). It's not fast enough to run the display I want (these) so I'm moving to an STM32 as soon as I can get a dev board (ordered it a few days ago). The remote has no back, and the small breadboard it just hot glued on back. This is just a temporary measure, I want to learn PCB design and fabbing, so I'm moving toward that. I pulled the analog sticks out of a really old FM remote and cut the acrylic to fit with the help of a caliper and a laser cutter. I like bulletproof things: the flight computer is but the remote is far from it. The next version will be as solid as possible. I want to do some small-scale marketing of remote v3.0 (it'd make an awesome remote for almost anything).
Comment by Jason Lyons on January 23, 2011 at 4:32pm
Very cool! I love the custom built remote!
Comment by Tim O'Brien on January 23, 2011 at 6:30pm

About my site: Yep. I chose tonight to upgrade the CMS (zenphoto). Not a good choice, on afterthought. I'm on my svn server fixing things. That page is up and running now. Now I'm fixing the ajax image browsing.


ArduPilot? I'm sure one could. My plan for my remote v3.0 is to write code plugins for lots of flight softwares with a common protocol. One controller to rule them all: any digital project you want.

Comment by Tim O'Brien on January 23, 2011 at 7:37pm
Well, that depends. If you get the modules I've got, these, then you're good to about 300 feet. I recently fried one of mine, so borrowed these from a friend. My verdict: Get the ones my friend got (if you have the funds, I don't). They're rated for ~6 miles line of sight and with great antennas, and ~2 miles normally. I'm personally looking at these, but only when I've got some great hardware that can fly that far on its own.
Comment by Steve on January 23, 2011 at 8:06pm
What is the motor to motor distance?
Comment by Gerry Lichter on January 23, 2011 at 8:14pm

That's so cool. Way to get the job done. I've seen 5+ projects involving XBee RC. You delivered the goods.




Comment by Tim O'Brien on January 23, 2011 at 8:57pm
Comment by Oscar Rosillo on January 24, 2011 at 7:16am


What´s the material of your flight controller? blue one, home-cut plastic??

I like your remote controller.


Comment by Sebastian Gralla on January 24, 2011 at 9:15am

how fast are you sending RC commands?

I plan to build an RC controller by myself, too.

thought about using multiply processors (like 2 Atmega328)

one for RC commands, one for telemetry and driving the display


do you know the dragonfly controller?


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