3D Robotics

Unmanned Development Team

3689394717?profile=originalHey all, over the past two years I've spent a lot of time browsing the DIYdrones website, unfortunantley not really posting anything, but im ready to finally get back into it. The progress that has been made in these two years is absolutely astonishing, and I plan on getting wet real fast.

I'm now in college now, thank goodness, and i brought my interest in UAVs with me. I am studying Mechanical Engineering at Cooper Union in Manhattan, a small, full tuition paid university that has a pretty great engineering program, but lacks research. I worked my a$$ of this past semester and am finally comfortable with the workload thats required of me. I saw this as my chance to meld my college experience to what i actually want to do in the future, that is design and build UAVs. With that in mind I started the Unmanned Development Team this past semester. We have a pretty good pool of members, spanning a wide range of expertise (programming-through to-machinists) and we are looking to get something off the ground in the coming weeks.

To attract other possible members, and also in the interest of simplicity and limited airspace in the city, we started with Quads, while concurrently working on a the design of a fixed wing autonomous platform. The quad is much further along with a finalized design and construction underway.

Since the team is basically playing catch up with the industry right now, we saw the Ardupilot as a nice way to ease into things, and will be using the ArdupilotMega with IMU oilpan on both our initial quadrotor and fixed wing platform.

Frame-Solidworks Render:

The main aim of this design was to provide a modular platform that could accomplish a variety of present and future tasks. The center section is almost exclusively assembled with hexagonal standoffs which can be arranged in any way. There is a large amount of clearance on the landing gear to allow for the attachment of a variety of sensors, and there is a modular rail on top to provide the necessary mounting for other top positioned sensors and cameras.

The frame is primarily Aluminum and Garolite to keep weight down as much as possible maximizing payload capacity. The basis of the design for the center section plates comes from a Mikrokopter frame. The majority of the parts are CNCed and any remaining parts are hand milled in our student shop.

Completed Landing Gear:


3689394743?profile=originalI should be updating about the UDT regularly now, but if I stop, someone send me an email to tell me to get back on it.


Im looking forward to see how much will change in the coming two years...


Julian Alvarez


Mechanical Engineer 2014


Our team should have a website soon, among other things, so stay tuned.

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  • Everything looks great!  Congrats on starting the new project.  I really wish I had the chance to do this kind of stuff when I was in school.  Maybe I should look into doing this for one of my local schools.  Could be just as rewarding.
  • Next year you should definitely look into competing in the AUVSI SUAS competition. Its a good challenge, and a great source of funding if you do well.
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