One of the best ways to test your sensors, servos and navigation routines is by walking around carrying the plane. But that can be cumbersome, and there's always the risk that you'll forget to unplug a wire and end up getting whacked by a spinning prop. Also, who wants to program with a plane in your lap for testing?
So I knocked together this little UAV simulator. It's just a strip of thin plywood with a little toy elevator and rudder so you can see what's going on. This one has all the equipment necessary for a fully-functional UAV, so I can not only test navigation but also stabilzation, watching the Xbee-transmitted data in realtime with a handheld ArduStation
. It's perfect for walking around and testing waypoints without looking like a total dork for carrying around a model airplane (although it's not much less dorky to carry around a slab of electronics and wires).
Anyway, if you want to know how the DIY Drones sausage gets made, there you go!