Build a drone project - looking for volunteers who want to build a drone

Tags: #<Tag:0x00007f5b77a2fec0> #<Tag:0x00007f5b77a2fce0>

(Andrew Wheatley) #1

Hi all,

I’m working on making and programming my own drone. The main thought I’ve had recently is that it’d be nice to have a group that would meet every so often and build one. We could build one (body, motors etc) from scratch and use the code/microcontroller base I’ve got already, since that would make it a lot faster.

The programming language is C, programmed on an STM32F103C8 (a.k.a. a “Blue Pill”). I can help people set up toolchains etc so they can mess about with the boards as they’re dirt cheap (about £3 per board).

So far I’ve got:
1x transmitter, STM32 controller sampling potentiometers and switches, encoding the data and sending it over a USART packet radio with CRC’s and stuff for error detection.

1x receiver, STM32 controller “heart”, receiving the radio packets and decoding/error checking, sampling a 9 axis gyro/accelerometer, and outputting a I2C signal to a PWM generation board. The PWM board outputs a signal to an ESC, which then spins the motors proportionally.

It does technically fly at the moment, but not well and will crash very quickly.

What needs to be done:
-Make a new body from scratch, maybe using the laser cutter and plywood or something.
-New ESC’s. The ones I currently have are crap and have bad resolution. I have another STM32 board as an ESC and have succeeded in getting it to work when connected to a PC, but when I try with a PWM signal it doesn’t listen.
-Addition of a GPS module.
-New PCB for receiver and transmitter. The transmitter PCB is too big, and the receiver needs one, as currently it’s just soldered.
-Control algorithm programming.

If anyone is interested in helping out I think it could be a fun project for a group!

If you’re curious about how drones or any of this stuff works I’d be glad to explain in person, you don’t have to commit to helping out to be curious :slight_smile:

(Andrew Wheatley) #2

I forgot to post what I currently have. Here’s some pictures. You’re welcome to laugh at the oversized PCB for the transmitter.

(Petra) #3


(Chanelle) #4

I would be interested but 0 electronic skills.

(Daniel Sikar) #5

Hi Andrew
I have built a drone from a 3DR kit and would be interested in joining your project, as well as putting one of my own together, once the 3D printer build group meet Tuesday evening wraps up, likely sometime this winter.

(RobertL) #6

Happy to get involved and help where I can

(Nico de Jong) #7

I’d be keen to join this, however only very minimal electronic experience

(Oli Passey) #8

i’d also like to get involved if possible, i have a 95% built hexacopter that needs some attention.

(Andrew Wheatley) #9

It’s good to know there’s so much interest in this project! If it’s alright with everyone, how about meeting wedneday a 7pm for an hour? I’ll explain the parts of the quadcopter and how it all comes together to make a final flying drone, and talk more about the project I guess.

*I’m actually still waiting for my membership to go through so having this at the same time as the open day seems less cheeky.