Indoor fun with a tiny ArduCopter quadcopter

Do you have an Ardupilot Mega and shield and want some fun for little money? check this tiny quad... my last drone in family...

Some specs:
- Size : 26.5cm (10.4 inches) from motor to motor
- Motors : 18-11 200kv 10 gram motors
- Props : 4x2.5 (standard CCW props)
- ESCs : Turnigy 6A
- Battery : 3S610 (or 3S800)
- Sonar : Maxbotics LV-EZ0 [optional]

The nice part about this frame is that it use standard kite parts, so it´s very easy to construct and it´s perfect for some radical tests.
Itried to find a bit different design that also make the quad less simmetrical (it´s very easy to loss the orientation with a quad) and I wanted to do as small as posible to flight indoors...
At this size and weight it´s very safe and robust also. The props use prop savers and this help a lot in crashes...
I am not very good writing... so I took a lot of photos during the build phase and I created a build log:

This code supports a sonar for altitude hold and also has a battery alarm (2 alarms).
Thisquad works with ArduCopter code, but because how main board is mounted, actual code doesn´t work. This is the code that I used with this quad :
(as zip format: )
note that this will be integrated on main Arducopter code. Now is temporarily in a branch.
ThePID gains are different than in standard ArduCopter, so you need to Initialize EEPROM on Configurator or put this ones manually:
-Stable mode: P : 4.8 ; I : 0.12 ; P_rate (D in configurator) : 0.4 ; Yaw : (4.5 ,0.15 ,2.8 )
-Acrobatic mode : P : 0.75 ; I : 0.1 ; D : 0 ; Yaw : (2.4 ,0.2 ,0 )

OK, but was all so perfect like in the video? I don´t believe that...
Yes, you are right, but fortunately this design is very crash resistance... and this part is also fun...

After all this battles I only needed a few drops of ciano in the crash with the lamppost :-)

What´s the real size?

On center, standard arducopter frame, on left, old ArduIMU quadcopter part III, on right-top this project.

And what about the automatic aerobatics on video?
I am starting to test a new function to do automatic aerobatics (Automatic Aerobatic Procedure). The idea is that you enable this function with a switch in the Tx to make an automatic predefined aerobatic and then automatically recover to a stable mode.
Thisis actually a proof of concept but works very nice. One limit here is the maximun rate of the gyros, in our case 500deg/s. If we exceed this, the IMU get confused...
An interesting point to note is that the IMU doesn´t loose the orientation in this hard movements...
Thestory is that I have never feel too much confidence doing flips manually with quads. Then I start thinking that with an automatic code we can get a precise timing and controled movement so maybe this could help to do better aerobatics. I started testing this function outdoor, on an open field but I was improving the code and got more tightly maneuvers, so tight, that I ended up doing flips with a quad inside my room!!!

Here is the code I was testing : (AAP function:
AAP.txt )
I implemented this functionality as a state machine where there are three kind of states:
- fixed commands for a limited period of time. (example : Apply a throttle command)
- fixed commands until we reach some IMU state (example : roll until we reach a certain angle)
- And a mix between this categories and a control (example : Throttle command + stable mode on roll, pitch, yaw)
There are many things to test and improve here but the basic concept works very nice...

If I can get a bit of help from a friend, I will probably made a carbon fuselage for this prototype...

Enjoy this “Science & Fun” mix...

Jose Julio.
Arducopter Team
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  • And it Flies !!!!!

  • Almost there :-)
  • Great job Jose Julio!

    Same question as @pizcolq. What about the sonar? what is its function?
  • Why you don't use CW and CCW operation??

  • Developer
    @Richard, this are the props :

    @pizcolq, we have two posible configurations, 2S batt with 5x3 props (works right also, and is what I use in the old project) and 3S with 4x2.5 props. OK, finally I prefer the 3S version because it´s a bit more powerfull and a bit more flight time. With 3S610 I have near 10 minutes flight time. Motors and ESC´s runs OK on 3S because we are not using the BEC of the ESC´s (this is the weak part of the Turnigy 6A). If you prefer the 2S setup, go for a 2S750 or 2S800 and the 5x3 props.
    No hay problema, pregunta lo que quieras :-)
  • Thanks Jose Julio for this great job for the comunity. I am plannig to copy your proyect but have a couple of doubts about the lipos. I understand that you are flying with 3S lipos but suggested power for these motors is 7.4v (if we are talking about the HK 18-11 2000kv Micro Brushless Outrunner 10g) and on the other hand the TURNIGY Plush 6A is not 3 cell guarenteed.... do the ESCs or motors go so hot? How long can you flight with the 800 and 610 lipos? do you think a more capacty but 2s lipo would have enough power to flight? (te estoy acribillando a preguntas xddd).

    And last question, about the sonar, what is exactly its function? does it work nice?

    Sorry for so many questions and thanks for patience
  • Do you have a link to the Propellors, and are they all the same..?
  • Developer
    I used this kit for the motor mounts:
    I used this kit for the angled joiner parts:
    The central part is really optional. It helps to mount it in the right angle but you can simply glue the tubes without this...
  • Haven't come across that one, will check it out, thanks.
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