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.
I tried 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).
This quad 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.
The PID 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.
This is 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...
The story 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

Views: 40754

Comment by Michael Lingg on November 18, 2010 at 6:42am
I did a search the other day and this site appears to have most everything:
Comment by John Ihlein on November 18, 2010 at 7:10am
Haven't come across that one, will check it out, thanks.
Comment by Sebastian Gralla on November 18, 2010 at 7:15am

Comment by Jose Julio on November 18, 2010 at 9:41am
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...
Comment by Richard Hirst on November 18, 2010 at 11:46pm
Do you have a link to the Propellors, and are they all the same..?
Comment by pizcolq on November 19, 2010 at 11:44pm
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

Comment by Jose Julio on November 20, 2010 at 2:23am
@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 :-)
Comment by Frank Toorenburg on November 20, 2010 at 6:48am
Why you don't use CW and CCW operation??

Comment by Jose Angel on November 20, 2010 at 8:20am
Great job Jose Julio!

Same question as @pizcolq. What about the sonar? what is its function?
Comment by Frank Toorenburg on November 20, 2010 at 8:27am

Almost there :-)


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