Saturday, September 4, 2010

Quadcopter Project

A few months ago, my brother suggested that we should build together a Quadcopter.
He showed me a few videos and I automatically fell in love.

This was the very first video I saw about it and perhaps the main source of inspiration.
What you see there is a helicopter with 4 rotors. It uses sonar sensors to measure the distance from the floor, infrared sensors to measure the distance from objects directly to the sides, and much more. It has two modes of operation: acrobatic mode and autonomous mode. The former allows control using a RC transmitter and the latter uses only a microcontroller for autonomous flight.

I'm somewhat experienced with microcontrollers, having designed and built devices with them for a few projects for academic purposes.

Perhaps the first issue I ran into when getting into this was the amount of investment required to put one of these babies above ground level: time and money. But taking it slow, my brother and I have managed to acquire quite some of the electronic components as of today, including all the sensors, GPS, telemetry devices, and the microcontroller itself.

I have a friend who will be helping me with the frame of the Quadcopter, which is yet to be designed and built.

I've designed a block diagram to visualize the whole system. Here's how it looks so far:

Click the image to see it in full size.

In the following posts I will be talking about the Quadcopter and the parts you see in the diagram.

Thanks for reading!