It started when during a boring afternoon at work I told my colleague that I found a very interesting web site called DIYDRONES. We realized that our aptitudes and knowledge were complimentary meaning that he understood what I was talking about and I was also understanding him when he was telling me about how to integrate (something) into a closed loop after having characterized (something) to determine (something else). WOW!

My friend is a senior aerospace engineer at the aircraft certification division of Transport Canada and I am an aircraft maintenance engineer working also for Transport Canada as a civil aviation safety inspector.

That day, I challenged him into a project and he said with a smile; I hate you !

Since then, according to our wives, we are crazier then ever. We are now obsessed into accumulating enough honey-do list points to buy free time to go forward with our project.

I posted here a few pictures to tease your curiosity. If you want to play with me until the end you will get the complete story and details about what we created. All because of what DIYDRONES put in our heads.

We are planning to give most of it to the open sources community.
For me it started by looking and drawing on an autocad 2009 computer screen. Did I mentioned also self learning how to use autocad?

One of my neighbor, also a friend, bought from China, on Ebay, a $1500.00 CNC machine knowing that I would learn how to use it and then teach him. Sure... but before I had to put together a computer powerful enough from some of the junk found in my garage. Could not wait to find a case for it.

After going through a few online tutorials (or was it a lot?) about Mach 3 CNC software, Sheetcam CAM software, stepper motors and controllers, etc. I ended up with my case less computer showing this screen;

and a noisy set up doing that; At least that is what my neighbors complains at 3 o'clock in the morning, you know ! CNC, router and vacuum noises.

Realizing that honey-do points are very hard to accumulate, we decided to start with cheap and easily available trex rc helicopter parts and built around it. Also we had the wisdom to start with a mock-up made with acrylic instead of wasting some very exotic and expensive material like carbon fiber. I think they call that the learning curve.

But what is that gizmo?

The continuation of our story will be by acclamation from you guys or it will die with this post...

Are you curious? Did DIYDRONES made you crazier to? Maybe we should consider a class action for it to stop...



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  • Except they AREN'T counter-rotating. The motors and large drive gears are geared to turn in the same direction. Like you say, the four gears in the middle mesh.
    I'm curious to:
    * see why the motors can pivot away from the gears they drive;
    * see what the four gears in the centre actually do drive;
    * see what runs on the 8 pairs of bearings mounted sort-of-radially.

    The comments about integrating (something) into a closed loop is making me want to see some sort of clever relative motion something which turns relative to the central axis of what we can see, and causes an effective control of a counter-rotating (something-else). But then I'm getting carried away.
  • Oooh I like that idea !!
    Anyhow, back to the Mario mechanics. Forget the differential drive interpretation; those central gears (4 small blue) are all meshed which will give not differential capability but synchronized drives. Also the belt drives to any outrigger props cannot be varied independently so no apparent pitch or roll correction.
    This begins to look more like a twin contra-rotating rotor drive.
    Maybe Jani is on to something.
  • Developer
    Propellers or propellers... How about kinda ducted fan type props like in Avatar movie they have those flying coaxial helis. I would loooove to see the prop mounts and how it works. I'm quite sure it will look like in Avatar but with 4 prop mounts

  • Simon, you got it first. I missed your post.
  • Belts will run through these tubes to drive the propellers.
  • Duh, it's where the arms of the quad will rest. Tubular arms will rotate to change propeller direction. Is this making any sense?
  • Looking at those eight sets of tubing covered bearings on axels, it appears that a rod or cylinder might rest and rotate on and between each pair of these things. For what purpose, though, I have no idea.
  • Great work even if it is still not completely clear what it is going to be. One thing that really intrigues me is why you made the support for the 4 central cogs split into four different quadrants? Is there some significance to this or was it just to have some tolerance between the 4 mounts ?

    Cannot wait to see the end results.
  • The roller bearings are meant to allow the top half to rotate against a bottom half (unseen).
    They won't however because they aren't radial.
    Earlier, I thought they allowed twist, but now I see they want to roll fast, given their placement, I can't see how they be useful, move them or surprise me.
  • The last 2 photos you posted look like the large cogs are different. In the first photo they are blue and white, in the second photo (apparently displaying the opposite side) the 2 cogs can be seen through the holes and both appear to be blue.

    I'd like to see the opposite side of the second photo, the photo that's using 2 blue cogs. Perhaps its nothing, but the apparent "swap" might be telling ; )
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