Recently I have joined this community. However, I am not working on building a UAV but a DIY autonomous sailing boat. It might not fly but such a boat can use the technology developed for UAVs.
With a lot of help from a good friend I have been able to design a small sailing boot made from PVC, which has no electronics in it, yet. It only sails in one direction :D.
The reason we are building it from scratch and haven’t bought a RC boot is because we want to make it as cheap and accessible as possible. The little PVC boat is designed very generic or modular. In that way every one who is interested in building one can adjust the size or the position of the parts as they wish to. Anyway you can see the boat and how it is made here. It is an instructable.
Our next step is towards make an autonomous sailing is to make the current boat remote controlled. I think the main requirements for this step are that it should stay modular and waterproof. So the simplest idea is to put all the servos in a waterproof lunchbox, make very small holes to attach the servos to the moving parts, using thin ropes. And finally find a way to attach the box to the boat.
I will post the PVC RC boat as soon as I have successfully tested it. Nevertheless I would be very glad to receive tips or examples, which can help me to make the next step.
I’ll keep you updated. And please don’t hesitate to give feedback.