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Author Topic: Drones (based on open source development platform)  (Read 1559 times)
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iot
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« on: March 27, 2015, 05:28:40 05:28 »

I haven't saw much information about drones in the forum.

Recently, I am very interested in this flying technology.

I want to build a drone by me or do some programming.

Today I saw this drone and I liked (but I think it is a little expensive)....  Crazyflie 2.0. it is not just a drone, it is an open source development platform, you can get the schematic, source code and mechanical details.

Does the members of sonsivri knows some others platforms or projects like CrazyFlie... ?

Thanks,

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Droneman1982
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« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2015, 01:53:33 13:53 »

Specify what exaclty do you want to do.

Building drones has many levels of different ways depending on your skill, starting from a commercial IMU-autopilot (almost ready to fly, only need to dimension motors, ESCs, payload, frame) to opensource ones (such ash ArduCopter, or as you mentioned CrazyFlie) or the hard way (self programming and autopilot starting from IMU modules)

What do you exaclty want to do?
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iot
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« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2015, 08:01:13 20:01 »

I want to build a little drone (like Crazyflie) by me, first as hobby and to understand in deep how it works.

Because it is a hobby i don't want to invest a lot.

I work as firmware engineer so I have a lot of tools, experience in the programming/electrical side, my experience in the mechanical field is basic but I can dedicate some time. Also I have access to a 3D printer, so I can print some basic parts.

I liked a lot Crazyflie because it is ready to start with programming, and later move to the mechanical topic, but I consider a little expensive, with that money I can buy enough motors, parts, circuits, etc.

Thanks for your answer.


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cncbasher
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« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2015, 01:58:25 13:58 »

take a look at http://diydrones.com/
the popular electronics are ardupilot and pixhawk , iv'e used both in my opinion ardupilot is the easier of the two to start with
it can be built , but you can actually buy them cheaper than it costs in parts , both are open source projects and a lot of information is available
depending on how far you want to take it .

flying and setup is easier if youv'e previous experience of RC Model flying, but theirs plenty of videos on youtube covering the subject

 
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xeontory
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« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2015, 03:56:13 15:56 »

Soon you will realize bigger drones are easy to build compared to little ones with "enough motors, parts, circuits, etc." because smaller it gets in size, its engineering complexity to make it fly rises exponentially. Most of the handmade manufacturing errors are forgiving when you really want to see it fly for the first time.

If you like something ready to start with programming, then purchase a quad copter and start making it smart with autonomus features, auto piloting, stability, GPS locking, imaging, audio or video recording or even implementing AI.

If you want to develop your experience in the mechanical field, then you should buy components and start to play with different props, try with tri-quad-hexa or octa copters, perhaps a single propeller plane because its efficiency. You can design one with longer flight time, limited range, or the one with long range in a limited flight time.

As long as it remains a hobby, there is a lot you can diy from wooden propellers to water bottle fuselage.
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pl4tonas
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« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2015, 01:12:25 13:12 »

As cncbasher said, the Ardupilot is a good starting point. try the ardupilot.com.  There is a lot of info and it is open source. All software needed is free.

Also, www.hobbyking.com is a good source for parts.  There are many other parts suppliers also.  I just use hobbyking. 

The Ardupilot is available from many sources and there is a cheaper Chineese clone.  The same applies for the Pixhauk.

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johnf
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« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2015, 03:26:33 03:26 »

My background is in drones (unmanned aircraft) and I currently work at the local University in drone research, so maybe I can offer a few tips that would get you started.
First, learn to fly a radio controlled aircraft. Buy a cheap foamie and go to your local club and get lessons. Practice your heart out on a simulator. Then learn to fly a helicopter. This is mandatory for total success.
Next, buy a ready to fly quad copter and get used to flying and operating it. You need to get on top of the flying before you start to play with the software. Flying must become routine. If you return home with the feeling that you got away with another flying session without breaking the quad then you are not there yet. Professional research organisations have dedicated pilots for their drones. The developers do not fly them. ARCAA in Australia has the National Aerobatic Champion as its drone pilot and head technician.
Now you are ready. Get a good open source autopilot, such as PixHawk, and build an airframe to take it. Good carbon parts, reliable motors, and decent speed controllers with dedicated firmware such as BLHeli. And don't cut corners on your RC system. Buy a Jeti or a Multiplex system with dual receivers.
Do a refresher course on flight mechanics and dynamics, such as the edX course AutoNaxX which is excellent. If you are going to write controller code for your drone you must be comfortable with this maths.
Sorry if I have not shown you any shortcuts, because there are none. Shortcuts are expensive and if you break an airframe you have left out an important step. There is no more reason to break a drone than there is to crash a car, so it is all down to preparation.
I hope this helps.
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solutions
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« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2015, 10:23:29 22:23 »

Or,you can print the airframe (opening the possibility of designing your own) and buy whatever hardware you want, and write code at the app level, in order to tweak it:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/137596013/phonedrone-let-your-smartphone-be-your-personal-dr?ref=hero_thanks

For $99, I'll go build something else and use this to take a picture or video two or three times a year. The rest of the time, the major cost components of the machine are in daily use. Makes a lot of sense to me.

@johnf - very few people hand fly drones these days - almost all either have a follower mode or a flight planner for autonomous flight. Yes, there's still the R/C crowd, but that is a well-established hobby and transition.
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johnf
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« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2015, 06:26:22 06:26 »

@johnf - very few people hand fly drones these days - almost all either have a follower mode or a flight planner for autonomous flight. Yes, there's still the R/C crowd, but that is a well-established hobby and transition.
CASA, the Australian aviation regulator is a world leader in aviation legislation and safety and is at the forefront of implementing legislation covering the operation of RPA (remotely piloted aircraft), or drones, both for commercial and recreational use. To get an RPA operators license it is mandatory to pass a flight and handling test.
Operating an autonomous vehicle without the ability to manually handle it in the event of an emergency is irresponsible and presents a serious hazard to the general public.
Modern jet airliners fly completely autonomously but we still expect the flight crew to be fully trained and able to manually handle the aircraft if required, and this is with highly reliable multiply redundant systems. Where do think we stand operating recreational drones fitted with low reliability systems and no redundancy, in an environment where members of the public can be injured or killed (and have been)?
When I fly my drones for recreation I have a $2M 3rd party insurance coverage which is part of my national association membership, and when I fly commercially I carry a $20M indemnity for my business.
If the operators of drones, both commercial and recreational, do not soon get their act together and behave professionally, then the legislators are going to take control, and nobody will like that!! It has already started in the US and that is just the beginning.
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iot
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« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2015, 04:22:15 04:22 »

Hello Johnf, thanks for your answer, your comments are very important.

Here in Mexico there are some recent rules regarding drone flying, like the pilot license, insurance and most people considers it as stupid, the same people that consider the drones like a toy, it can look too easy and fun, but this is not true (not always).

I am a beginner/intermediate about drone flying and as a firmware engineer/maker I want to produce code/make some about this technology.

Thanks to all for the answers, I have learnt somethings from the provided answers and links.
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