Sub One Kilo project


In Belgium, our local "FAA", the so called "DGTA" (as painful as in the US) has just passed last week a law regulating the use of drones. They defined a number of categories among which the "all-up-weight" of the ship is a criterion. Among the categories, a ship under a kilogram does not require a pilot certification nor all of the administrative burdens & associated costs. They allow you to fly a sub kilogram ship (except in public spaces) up to 10 meters (basically it is considered a "toy" under a kilogram).

So, this was my motivation to try to build a "Subonekilo" ship, based on Arducopter (with all the goodies including autonomous flight capability), embarking a full HD camera on a 2 axis gimbal. All of it, battery included, under a kilogram.

The ship built in this video does just that, with a flight endurance of 33 minutes @850grams without camera. It weighs just about a kilogram with a Mobius installed on my previously designed 45gr 2-axis Alexmos Mobius gimbal (see video here :45g Mobius gimbal ).

Forrest Frantz, we all know here, is the inspiration of the antivibration "struts" I'm using in this build, which is a way to isolate the frame from a platform holding all of your electronics, flight controller and battery (for maximum weight and thus minimum vibration amplitude) resting on anti-vibration isolators/dampeners. As a result, I get extremely low vibrations on all three axis X, Y, Z (see end of video for chart).

Last but not least, a big thx to our divine Ardupilot DEVs to provide such an excellent autopilot. Note that the flight shown in the video is done with the latest APM:copter 3.3.3 out-of the-box without any tuning , standard params (it wobbles a bit as the ship is way overpowered, hovering at 35%-40% => I have to lower Roll/Pitch P rate and maybe a bit D also).

A part2 will come once I've some nice video footage to show with the gimbal+Mobius (some fiddling still needed + ship tuning).



E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones


  • MR60

    Is the plasti dip easier than the electrical spray? And when referring to plasti dip, do you mean

    I might need to buy some of the strut mounts from you, but will try to cut some out of plastic. I'm doing a test to find the best location spot which is easier to do with movable mounts versus my permanent mounts. 

  • Great! Do you have a link to the stl's?

  • MR60

    The parts are T-Motor's 6th anniversay edition, 9" props, 3S battery. Frame is my own build, cf tubes. Center plates are Nomex/CF honeycomb and sandwich balsa/CF. Dimension is more or less 450mm diameter.

  • @Hugues Do you have a link to the stl's for those connecting bits? They look great! Do you plan on releasing any dimensions and information on what gear was used?

  • MR60

    Oz is setting the standards for drone regulations!

  • Just come to Oz...from October you can fly sub 2kg up to 400ft without a licence for money. ;-)

  • Here, bigger syndrome is with stupid people flying Drones in most populate places, adding that, without knowledge, but law affect everyone equally, not distinguish if you live in a populated city, near an airport, or in the middle of Patagonia where you have miles and miles of nothing to hurt,  :(

  • MR60

    These altitude restrictions for sub kilogram ships are a bit ridiculous : you have more probability to get hurt or to hurt someone letting your kid play on the tenth floor of a building as he could throw his toys out the window (I did that;). However there is no law forbidding kids to play with toys on the tenth floor.

    I think we are just victim of the overaal "drone scare syndrom" with the press looking permanently for sensationalism (cf the latest false scare story of a drone crashing into a plane in London's airport : it was a plastic bag in the end after investigation...but the press was all over screaming over the danger of drones crashing planes).

  • We have 10 mts too for hobby but the problem here is to control real airplanes that don't fly at that altitudes :( ,

    the advantage to live on the world corner is that we have very few aerial traffic if you don't live near airports only listen airplanes time to time and spraying airplanes during sunflower grow. 

  • hehehe si we always need talents ! send me a CV on my PM... (en français pas de pb)

This reply was deleted.