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Make your own drone.

  1. Jul 30, 2012 #1
    I've been having this urge to create my own flying robot, quadrotor or something similar with motors and rotating blades, I've thought up how it would fly, turn, and be powered.

    Still some problems like, I wanted to connect a camera to it, but how do I transmit video over distance, is the internet the best solution? I also planned to use a normal remote controller I had for a remote controlled boat, And than making the antenna better so it can work to better distances.

    But are there any websites where I can buy materials, where can I buy materials to create my OWN machines, and where are there guides for programming and such.

    I'd love to study engineering, but I'm going for physics so this kind of is forced to be just a hobby, unless I study both witch is probably impossible.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 30, 2012 #2

    Mech_Engineer

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    Why not buy an off-the-shelf one instead? Designing one from scratch can be a very complex problem, especially from a control system standpoint.
     
  4. Jul 30, 2012 #3

    yes well that was the main problem, I have thought up a design I love, with camera placement and stuff, but it's just control system and programming that ****s with me.
     
  5. Jul 30, 2012 #4
    You could always buy one for the controls and data transmission/recieving and redesign it (and add to/edit the controls as needed)
     
  6. Jul 30, 2012 #5
    Yes that sounds pretty good, but how would one transmit video over perhaps a kilometer, i've thought of the internet and wifi, is transmitting video from a camera over to you pc hard?
     
  7. Jul 30, 2012 #6

    Mech_Engineer

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    Wifi won't have the range you want without directional tracking antennas. You're probably going to have to use some sort of analog video transmission hardware, similar to what's already used in OTS drones.
     
  8. Jul 30, 2012 #7
    That sounds expensive, but maybe I can order said equipment on the internet. The reason I want to do it myself is because I want to make a prototype of my own design, it's not a quadrotor.
     
  9. Jul 30, 2012 #8
    Here is a website dedicated to having a camera attached to your aerial vehicle and wireless telemetry for it (FPV): http://www.fpvpilot.com/Pages/GettingStartedinFPV.aspx [Broken]

    Control system? Here is an easy off the shelf solution: http://www.diydrones.com/notes/ArduPilot/

    Website to learn more about designing and building a quadrotor: http://www.instructables.com/id/Quadrotor/

    You will need some sort of long range transmitter/receiver package. Something like this I recommend as the absolute minimum: http://www.spektrumrc.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdId=SPM5510

    You will have to take all these pieces of information and place them in your design. You won't be able to provide solutions for high data video transmission or design an embedded control system on your own without a suitable education. Good luck.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  10. Jul 31, 2012 #9
    Also, check out this user's YouTube channel for ideas and links for components: http://bit.ly/QsRiYZ
     
  11. Jul 31, 2012 #10

    Mech_Engineer

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    It won't be the most expensive part of your setup, especially when you look into flight control electronics.
     
  12. Jul 31, 2012 #11


    Thanks alot, but how would I go around and build my own airframe? prefferrably from light materials like plastic and aluminum, I have the shape thought up but would probably need to draw it in a program, but is there a service that can custom make parts you ask them to do? can you buy things like that? because I can't mold plastic myself.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  13. Jul 31, 2012 #12

    Mech_Engineer

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    Of course there are lots of machine shops and engineering services around the world that could fabricate things for you, but if you're worried about the cost of some off-the-shelf video transmitting equipment I don't think you'll like the quotes for fabrication costs either...

    I think your best bet is to learn how to make a custom airframe out of balsa wood and molded plastic. Check out some RC plane forums for tips on how to build a small aircraft from scratch.
     
  14. Jul 31, 2012 #13
    balsa wood sounds good, but is there a program, cheap or free where I can draw my design, motors, battery placement, aiframe etc, like you see in youtube videos. Where I can simply make a virtual copy of my design, than work from that, because i want to get this accurate
     
  15. Aug 5, 2012 #14
    If its not a quadrotor, what will it be. You may need to build a control system? For building the airframe, look into rapid prototyping methods. For creating a computer model checkout Google SketchUp. I think it is free.
     
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