Quadcopter Design and Build

A couple of members are now putting the finishing touches to their quadcopter builds and proceeding into the upgrade phase (typical). The build process isn’t too difficult with the excellent DJI 450 quadcopter kit, which allows various options to be taken to reach each users end goal, whether it be simple flying or the more advanced (and costly) First Person Viewing (FPV) camera set-up.

From a hacking point of view, there are some areas of this hobby which lends itself really well to hacking. I personally have a 3D printer and CAD design skills, therefore items like camera mounts (GoPro etc.), electronics enclosures, landing skids etc. are all able to be designed and manufactured easily. From an electronics perspective there are various radio transmitter hacks or custom firmware mods can be pursued if required too.

Quadcopter First Flight

I will soon be presenting my quadcopter with on-board live video streaming to Wiltshire Search and Rescue. They are extremely interested in seeing the the on-board camera footage with a view to help saving them many man hours of ground based searching. Also it will allow them to view inaccessible areas very quickly such as riverbanks and remote fields. The option to upload pre-programmed missions from Google Maps into the on-board Ardupilot control board then have the GPS navigation system take control at the flick of a switch also sounds appealing. Whole fields can be scanned in seconds and minutes.

These are eye-in-the-sky images that I have currently been getting through the on-board GoPro Hero 3:

Swindon Remote Control Car Club

Moredon Playing Fields

Wroughton Airfield

Wroughton and Swindon from Wroughton Airfield

Flight videos have been uploaded on YouTube too:

The next stage for me is to re-build my quad to a “spider style” configuration. This will be achieved by redesigning the central plates to orientate the forward arms out of the shot from the camera view. Click on the images below to download my CAD files from Thingiverse.

Spyda 500 Quadcopter

Spyda 500 Quadcopter

Spyda 500 Quadcopter

Spyda 500 Quadcopter

And a GoPro Hero 3 mount that is fully printable :

Spyda 500 GoPro Hero 3 Mount

If you are interested in finding out more about this hobby then come along to the Swindon Hackspace on a Wednesday night and have a chat with some like minded members.

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