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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  • Does anyone know if this ArduPirateNG code works with motors all running CCW or do I need to use this special version from Jose?
  • I loaded the same ardupirateNG on both boards and checked their sensor output. It doesn't seem to be an ADC issue because it's only some of the sensors that are erratic. Board A shows only Gyro Roll and Gyro Pitch having problems. Board B shows Gyro Roll and Gyro Pitch plus Roll Level Adjust and Roll Angle with problems.


    None of this has to do with this thread anymore so I'm taking it to a new thread. :)

  • If that is so then both of them are defective. I'm going to load ArduPilotMega on them to see if it shows the same sensor readings. It has to be a hardware problem or can be something in software causing it?
  • i think there is a problem with your sensors [bordt]



  • Still getting erratic sensor data. Any ideas what could be causing this behavior with two different APM/IMUs?


  • OK I've got configurator working now. Still getting strange readings on the gyro roll and gyro pitch. They just jump around. Does this have something to do with keeping the quad still while it's booting up. As soon as I connect the battery, I leave it still.


    Also is it ok to use this ardupilot code when all motors are spinning the same direction? I'm having some trouble stopping the yaw.

  • Got it working somehow. It's almost flyable and definitely much better than the indoor code. Does this ArduPilot code work with props all spinning the same directly? Does it matter if I tilt the frontleft and backright vs frontright and backleft to cancel torque?


    I'm still not getting a smooth sensor output but it's better than it was with the indoor code. How would the software change effect that?

  • sorry look at the usb poort speed is ok en set rts to on.


    sorry fore my bet  englis

  • It's still freezing up Configurator after about 5 seconds. I've heard of this happening with xbees but not with USB connection. Any solution? I use configurator all the time with ArduCopterNG code on larger quad.
  • OK I"m setting it back to 115200. What do you mean 'loop at your usb poort if its setup ok' ?
This reply was deleted.