Tag Archives: DIY Drone

It’s never been so easy to build your own Arduino-based quadcopter


The YMFC-3D V2 flight controller enables everyone to create their own Arduino drone. 


Quadcopters, or “drones” as they are sometimes inaccurately known, seem to be getting a lot of attention currently. There are, of course, many off-the-shelf components to control your flying contraption, but if a stock flight controller (FC) isn’t geeky enough, you can always turn an Arduino Uno (ATmega328) into one.

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That’s exactly what Joop Brokking has done. As the creator puts it, “I made the YMFC-3D [Your Multicopter Flight Controller] V2 flight controller software so everybody can build their own Arduino quadcopter and having a great learning experience.”

The video below explains things nicely, but to summarize, his Arduino software is divided into three sketches that attempt to automate much of the configuration procedure. First, a setup program is loaded into the Uno, which outputs specific steps for the user to go through to set up the transmitter and gyroscope. Next, a separate program is employed to help calibrate the electronic speed controllers, commonly known as ESCs, that directly power the motors. Finally, the actual FC program is loaded into the Arduino, so you can actually test out and fly your ‘copter.

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For more information, as well as source code, you’ll want to check out Brokking’s website. He also has information there on his earlier version, which is meant for those already experienced with radio controlled flight and the Arduino.

One neat thing about a build like this is that, in theory, one could program the Uno to do all kinds of tricks, like control an LED strip while in flight or turn a servo. This concept could, it would seem, even be expanded to maneuver other kinds of RC vehicles. On the other hand, one would need to be careful not to tie up too much processing power and quite literally “crash” your system!

 

This DIY quadcopter is built around an Arduino Yún


A group of Makers have designed an Arduino-based drone that can be wirelessly controlled from any device. 


Developed by Makers Simone Castellani, Giovanni Intorre and Andrea Toscano as a Master’s project at the Universita’ degli Studi of Milan, Comelicottero is a quadcopter driven by an Arduino Yún (ATmega32U4) and wirelessly controlled from any PC or mobile device.

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Aside from its on-board Arduino, Comelicottero is equipped with an accelerometer and gyroscope tasked with handling its stability through a PID-based command system.

From take off to landing and everything in between, the ground station communicates with the flying apparatus over Wi-Fi. Meanwhile, the user can manage and monitor all incoming data from their drone through a gamepad attached to the laptop running custom software. The Makers decided to swap out the Bridge library for an efficient Python script on OpenWRT-Yun in order to maximize the Yún’s capabilities.

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Moving ahead, the Makers are looking to finalize their autonomous navigation system, which is currently undergoing testing due to magnetometer interferences with the motors’ magnetic field. As our friends at Arduino note, the sketch and all of its documentation will be made available on GitHub and released with GNU license in the near future. Until then, watch it in action below!