When you love drones as well as rovers you would want to have both of them together. Just by adding a set of wheels to my already existing PlutoX drone and with the help of some simple coding, I developed this hybrid drone.

What I wanted to do was to build a prototype that can fly and walk on the ground as well so in short a combination of drone and rover. That is when I decided to make my project using PlutoX controller which controls a drone and it also has an add on breakout board which i used to add extra functionalities like rover mode.

Due to small wheels it becomes difficult to keep the heading of the in straight direction for this I have used something called as AutoStabilization. AutoStabilization uses the drones magnetometer data and keeps the heading straight. Heading can only be changed using the phone(Controller).

Here's how i did it

  • FINALIZING COMPONENTS REQUIRED
    • PlutoX
    • 3D printed wheels and motor support
    • 400 rpm brushed motors
    • 600 mAh batteries
  • GETTING THE HARDWARE READY

            In this project I decided to use PlutoX drone due to it’s hardware modularity. Adding most structure is               easier. For my project I needed something that will hold the wheels so that I can use my drone as rover.

            Using this wheel support I can easily clip the motors for rover onto the frame

  • GETTING THE SOFTWARE READY
    • If the PlutoX is DISARMED (i.e in the Rover mode)
    • Check if it is Auto-Stabilized or not (AutoStablization helps the rover to maintain the direction with the help of Magnetometer )
    • If it is Auto-Stabilized, indicate by turning on the Left LED, get the heading from Yaw angle.
    • If not Auto-Stabilized, indicate by turning on the Right LED
    • Get the RC input and perform error correction(Error correction - only if Auto-Stabilized)
    • Set the direction and PWM input for motor M2 and M3
    • Motor Direction
    • Forward - M2 and M3 both forward
    • Reverse  - M2 and M3 both reverse
    • Right - M2 forward, M3 reverse
    • Left - M2 reverse, M3 forward
    • If the PlutoX is Armed it operates in Drone mode
    • Github link

    Auto-Stabilization - Using smaller wheels in rover mode sometimes becomes a disadvantage as it gets difficult for the drone to move in a straight line/forward direction.

    Auto-Stabilization uses the data from drones magnetometer and gets the yaw angle. Using this we can move the rover in straight line.

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