Student Quadcopter

Student quadcopter testing.

The idea was to build quadcopter (or quadrotor in you prefer) and to fit it out with GPS so it could self-navigate (using Piezo electric gyros for stability control).
The idea was to program it’s GPS with the co-ordinates of a small local park so it would fly around it by itself.

This video was from the year 2003/4.

Stability problems meant you had to have a massive amount of ‘left stick’ on the controller just to get it to move. Re-calibration of the system and a run indoors. Then out again, however it does not end that well.

Later they did have it successfully flying, and overall considerably more successful than the year previously (see below).

 

From the year 2012/3.

For unknown reasons the GPS set-up did not want to lock on to the satellites. This gave a fairly well behaved device indoors where it was just under standard radio control, but outside, where the idea was to pre-program it with a course to fly using the GPS (and have the radio control to override when necessary), with this lack of GPS lock it was not a happy machine!

What was achieved was a device that under basic gyro control was stable, but was lacking in feedback between the stability system and the GPS / sat-nav side of things.

From 2010.

Two groups of students try to build stable quadcopter style hovering platforms (2010).

Their efforts meet with limited success, however they have limited time as this is being done on top of a great deal of other work, and also on a very restricted budget so they are having to use some very cheap components and materials.

But then that’s half the reason for the project – to really stress their skills and give them a greater appreciation of the value of time and money.

Quadcopter (or quadrotor) control is not as easy as many think! Motor synchronisation, power control, error correction, weight distribution and centre of gravity all have to be allowed for.

***Don’t forget that what is considered common and easy today was neither easy or cheap even a few years ago.***

(I just videoed this activity – **I was not involved in the construction**.)

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