DIY Quadrotor Arduino
With the development of Arduino, it’s never been easier to learn how to make a drone, whether you’re interested in the quadrotor or another style. If you’ve ever wondered how to build a quadrotor drone, this article will cover the basics involved in construction.
What is Arduino?
Arduino is an open-source computing platform that senses the physical world in real time, and translates that information into programmed responses of the drone. As an open-source platform, the settings and program language can be modified and expanded.
This has allowed for the development of ArduPilot: an autopilot system that turns fixed or rotary wing vehicles into a computer-programmable, autonomous UAVs that will follow waypoints set up via GPS.
Purchasing or Assembling a Base
To construct a quadrotor drone, you’ll need to put together a unit with a cross plate and four arms. You can either purchase an already completed base or put one together based on an existing design. The cross plate will also house the sonar sensor and all other components.
Installing the ArduPilot Flight Controller
There are a few different ways you can fasten the flight controller to the cross plate. Depending on the materials used and the design of the unit, it might be more effective to use Velcro or screws. You’ll want to use something that will allow you to disassemble the model.
Connecting the RC Receiver to the Flight Controller
Depending on the specific ArduPilot model you use and the type of receiver being installed, the actual order of the inputs and pins will vary. Consult with the manuals or manufacturers of both devices to be sure that signals will be sent and received properly.
Connecting the GPS and Sonar Sensor
In order to fly to the correct waypoints, and avoid collision along the way, a GPS and sonar sensor is required. Both should have their own respective ports on the flight controller.
Providing Power to the Drone
The power module from the battery you choose, which should be selected based on the types of motors driving the propellers, will connect the battery to the flight controller.
Installing the Electronic Speed Controls
Power has to be distributed appropriately, and the DC current from the batteries needs to be converted to AC. The electronic speed controls accomplish this job. These will go between the motors and the battery.
Connecting the Speed Controllers to the Flight Controller
The next step is very important, as it will determine the way in which the drone flies. Consult the manufacturer of your flight controller in order to set up the unit to fly in Quad + mode, or Quad X mode.
In Quad +, the motors are directly to the front, rear, left and right of the drone during flight. This is accomplished by having the front and rear propellers spinning clockwise, while the left and right rotate counterclockwise.
Quad X has the motors in an X shape during flight. This is done by having the front-right and the rear-left motors spinning counterclockwise, and the others spinning clockwise.
Running the Software and Final Configuration
You’ll want to consult any informational material from the manufacturer of your flight controller to determine the next steps in using the software that controls the flight controller. Here, you’ll calibrate the transmitter, check the motor functions and, finally, install the propellers.
Flying Your Very Own Adruino-Controlled Quadrotor
Once the software has been set up correctly and all the functions of the drone have been calibrated, you’re ready to fly! Make sure you understand all the different flight modes that come with your flight controller.
If you’re looking for flight controllers, motors, parts and other RC components, Drone Select offers a variety of information and supplies needed to construct your very own quadrotor drone.