Quadcopter Design

I’ve always wanted to build a quadcopter. I have finally started the design phase. This one is a little more ambitious than most of the hobbyist projects that I’ve seen. I always dream big (but maybe not always best).

Here are my requirements:

  • At least 30 minutes of up-time
  • Automatic take off and safe landing
  • Propeller guards
  • High resolution video camera
  • Video recording to on-board SD card
  • Automatic stability control using accelerometer / gyro / camera
  • Connectivity using blue-tooth and 3G
  • Automatic obstacle avoidance using multiple range sensors
  • Sensor and status feedback to controller
  • Video transmission to controller with automatic quality scaling
  • Programmable with three modes to start with
  • Local control mode:
    • Connected to PC or android over blue-tooth
    • Fly manually with game-pad or touch screen
  • Long range control mode:
    • Connected to PC or android over 3G
    • Fly manually with game-pad or touch screen
  • 3rd person mode
    • Connected to android over blue-tooth
    • Automatically track you as a personal 3rd person camera
    • Manual perspective adjustments

I’ve also started scouting parts. Here is the first pass parts list:

I still need to do a lot more research. Particularly, I need to figure out how much the thing is going to weigh, and make sure that my motors can lift it, and that my batteries will give me the up time that I want. I also need to research propellers, and frame material. I expect this thing will cost at least $500. But, I’ll have an awesome project by the end of it!

I’ll post more updates as I get further in the design process.

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