Unveiling the robot

Here you are some photographs of my flying robot.

It's a chinese replica of the t rex 450 equipped with brushless motor and lipo battery.

As you can see, there's a CMUcam mounted in the front. It points the helicopter in the direction (yaw control) of a coloured object, and follows it when this ascends or descends, lowering and raising height.

The new arduPilot mega with IMU shield is mounted on the tail boom, near the body. Currently it works just as a stabilization unit with little code modifications. In the future, when I'll have some spare time, I'll adapt it as an autopilot with gps guide and indoor navigation techniques such as the Polly algorithm (CMUcam software) which recognizes wall edges.

The goal of this project is to demonstrate (or not!) that cheap electronics and models can lead to a "successful" and reliable robot, to use as a platform for sensors.

in particular, the major goals to achieve are:

-long flight time

-payload weight

-almost absolutely fail-safe hardware and software, reliability

-autonomous navigation

upgrades can be a controller such as the RoBoard, the roboRealm vision software and a camera

I'll post more as soon (long) as i have time to work


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  • Looks cool.
  • The apm works good because it's powered from a separate battery. I just fried two esc's today, urgh. @Eric I'll post a movie when I'll be back in september, owning a brand new camera and esc!
  • Sooo... where's the video?
  • Moderator
    Ian, are you sure that you have power getting to the APM now? It looks like it's powered by your single LiPo up front, but I just want to check Does the APM power up?
  • Hey everybody thanks for your replies!
    Updates. FLIGHT DAY TWO

    -Total ESC failure (burnt!) due to high battery voltage (14,8 V 4S) (damn, never flied anything before this heli)
    -Probably burnt channel of ArduPilot mega (doesn't respond to the transmitter anymore)

  • Admin
    Note: this clone comes 80% assembeled with main head ully assembled :( and some excessive loctite usage from factory!!. Any attempt to loosen them to check or remove will lead to screw/bolt head shearing(most probably) leaving the part useless. Like Sgt said check where and when to use loctite(Read :don't use indescriminately) , some times they can be bad too. .
    My clone is no were near Align Trex material quality and so no real 3D or stunts but finishwise it is nearly as goog if not better.. I got it purely to use it as low cost test bed for uav testing without risking expensive Trex600. Test bed will surely crash but no tears will be lost. good luck
  • Admin
    its rex500 clone which is why i bought it. If poor hardware(screws , bolts, nuts etc ) can be excused then it is a best buy. Batt + Esc used was from HK too. BatT is 4S3000 20c or 25c not sure .

    Any way, tail blade retainer bolt failed on first spool up ( and so the recommendations of hardware upgrade) , every thing else looks good, quite impressed with over all product, you can't get so much of cnc stuff for 30$.
    Yet to fly it .
    2 of these will provide enough parts for Osprey vtol project.for mighty hearts :)
    @Randy, that was the big idea but yet to complete it.
  • Moderator
    A note about using LockTite on heli frames...
    do NOT use on Fibre Reinforced Nylon parts since the expansion can cause microscopic cracks... this may be why some have experienced screw holding problems, even after using LockTite.
  • Developer
    Looking good. A couple of questions...is that a Trex450 clone? It looks bigger than my stock trex450.

    Another idea about mounting the ArduMega+OilPan...how about trying to create a new level between the body and the landing gear? I.e. separate the landing gear from the body, then take two 6cm * 13cm plates of wood, carbon fibre or whatever, attach one to the body, one to the landing gear. then attach the two plates together with those normal electrical standoffs.

    think that would work on a clone? It works on my stock 450.
  • hey hats a megamachine whats the maximum height.what esc are you using?
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