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Let’s design a multirotor together.

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Posted · Let’s design a multirotor together.

A small edit:

1: I think it is a very fair (and important) question to ask how much people are willing to spend.

But who is experienced in building a multirotor themselves and can make an accurate guess of what to expect at minimum?

I will also ask with Erick who is experienced and can probably make a pretty good guess, and invite him to the forums to participate as well.

 

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Posted · Let’s design a multirotor together.

Wow, I had no clue this was happening this week. I was about to say that I know the Technical University of Delft has the IMAV lab, where they use/work on paparazzi.

I could try to make contact with the MAVlab here in Delft on behalf of the community, to see if they have an ear for the project.

/offtopic: by the same lab a VTOL that flips to horizontal flight. For take off and landing it uses quadrotor principles, with powerful motors. In flight it uses wings to support smaller motors, for longer flight time:

 

 

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Posted · Let’s design a multirotor together.

I don't know about you guys, but after 13 seconds I am just looking at 2 guys standing near a field :p

Where did it go?

 

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Posted · Let’s design a multirotor together.

:p That is to show the benefit of transferring from Rotor based to wing based: save energy, gain tons of speed

/ontopic:

Something like this should be manageable printed:

 

EDIT I think it is important to choose between a quadrotor designed for indoor or outdoor use. This will determine the size, need for certain payload, gps requirements etc.

 

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Posted · Let’s design a multirotor together.

that looks cool!

I like the wheels and how it can also be used as a bumpershield but also crawl up walls.

However I do think we are focussing on outdoor use. (but most walls have an 'outside' too..)

 

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Posted · Let’s design a multirotor together.

@Titus: It would be great if you could contact MAVLab. With regard to indoor vs outdoor, I have a very strong preference for outdoor. One of the coolest things about multicopters is the aerial views that they can generate...

 

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Posted · Let’s design a multirotor together.

The small "autonomous" machines are not that cheap. Way more than the toys in this size. But the "autonomous" functions are the next, interesting steps in this field.

The basis version of the Lisa/S without a frame and without motors is $410. I would use some old motors of one of my Hubsan. The version with motors and frame is at $500. :(

EDIT: And I have already a Spectrum DX6i Controller. So I'm a little bit biased. But I have no connections to 1bitsquared.

 

But, the difference in autonomous and none-autonomous are just a processor and a GPS right?

Cost is an important aspect for a lot of people. $500 might be on the nice side for really being into the hobby. But it's on the expensive side for me.

I've build a model sailplane, model spirit, 2 meter width, build from scratch with just the drawings. Cost me about 50 euros excluding the electronics. Electronics set me back 200 back then. But most likely cost less then half that right now. As the price of those parts dropped significantly the last 10 years. Think you could build it for less then 150 euros right now.

But because of this, I also know people that easy spend 1200 euros or more on a sailplane. So it's important to know what your goal is. Do you want a cheap printable/expandable quad-copter for people who might want to get into the hobby, or do you want a high end machine with all the bells and whistles?

 

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Posted · Let’s design a multirotor together.

I wonder if we couldn't offer both options (i.e. cheap and cheerful and more sophisticated). Since the biggest cost is the electronics, would it not be possible to create one frame designed to host different types of electronics depending on how much people want to spend?

 

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Posted · Let’s design a multirotor together.

Hi Everyone, I am sorry it took me so long to jump on this forum. It has been crazy busy at the magazine and I am finally seeing a break where I can focus on this project.

A little about me... I was one of the principals of RCUniverse.com some 15 years ago. Four years ago this month, we sold RCUniverse and I started working at Maplegate Media Group managing RC Heli Pilot magazine. I have since taken over FLY RC magazine and recently, earlier this year, started the World's first magazine on multirotors - Multirotor Pilot (multirotorpilotmag.com or facebook.com/multirotorpilot - Please LIKE US) :-) About a year and a half ago I was introduced to 3D printing and began to come up with 100's if not 1000's of uses for 3D printing within the RC hobby. Earlier this year, I met Sander from Ultimaker at a 3D print show in NYC and I got a Ulitmaker 2 printer, which is totally amazing. We have been talking about ways to incorporate some of my designs for RC parts into the YouMagine and forum. This project is the first that I thought would be fun to collaborate with the community here to come up with a design that we can later publish in the magazine.

After reading all of the posts here, two things really stand out as being very interesting... A WATERFROOF QUAD and A CAR/QUAD.

I personally do a lot of aerial video and photography professionally and I also love to fly FPV with Mini quads (200-size). but there are a lot of designs out there for these types of machines.

We should take a Vote or something as to which direction we want to go in here.

Also, there is another need that I found for multirotors that I would love to collaborate a design for - retracts! A retractable landing gear for 550-size and smaller multirotors. I think we can do it with PLA and still have it be strong enough to withstand the weight. Thoughts??

It is great to meet everyone and I look forward to working with you on this project.

 

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Posted · Let’s design a multirotor together.

With regards to cost... my suggestion is that we design it with parts that we can get from HobbyKing.com. They have very inexpensive motors, escs, controllers, etc. And they have warehouses all over the world so It will not matter where you live, we can all have access to the same parts.

 

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Posted · Let’s design a multirotor together.

I would think that we can design a really cool multi-copter for about $150 USD in parts - (motors, esc, flight controller, props)

 

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Posted · Let’s design a multirotor together.

But, the difference in autonomous and none-autonomous are just a processor and a GPS right?

Cost is an important aspect for a lot of people. $500 might be on the nice side for really being into the hobby. But it's on the expensive side for me.

I've build a model sailplane, model spirit, 2 meter width, build from scratch with just the drawings. Cost me about 50 euros excluding the electronics. Electronics set me back 200 back then. But most likely cost less then half that right now. As the price of those parts dropped significantly the last 10 years. Think you could build it for less then 150 euros right now.

But because of this, I also know people that easy spend 1200 euros or more on a sailplane. So it's important to know what your goal is. Do you want a cheap printable/expandable quad-copter for people who might want to get into the hobby, or do you want a high end machine with all the bells and whistles?

The most expensive parts are the gyroscope ICs (they cost around 50$ alone), and also the ability of the software to actually work with them (quite a big feat in engineering...).

GPS also isn't too cheap, because you need the electronics and an antenna which both cost something.

The best choice would be to get a complete, fully featured kit. Ideally one that exists in several variations within the same form factor (with or without autonomous flying capability).

There are so many different platforms available that I don't have an overview over them anymore...

 

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Posted · Let’s design a multirotor together.

>>After reading all of the posts here, two things really stand out as being very interesting... A WATERFROOF QUAD and A CAR/QUAD.

I vote for a waterproof car quad :)

I have never understood why multirotors are not designed for heavy rain - and once you have heavy rain then you havs some water.

They are half way there - I have dunked my Hubsan in the pond a few times (by mistake) and overnight in rice has dried it out and back to normal - so I don't think it would be too hard ??

James

 

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Posted · Let’s design a multirotor together.

I really liked the idea of printing our own brushless motors. It shows that you can make almost everything with a 3D printer.

If you want nice aerial footage, you are probably better off buying something on the market than investing time and money in this project.

I'd say we aim for something that hasn't been done before, or aim for the focus on 3D printing.

 

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Posted · Let’s design a multirotor together.

I have never understood why multirotors are not designed for heavy rain - and once you have heavy rain then you havs some water.

 

Rain might have a pretty negative impact on the performance of the props. But it's not that hard to weather-harden electronics. You just have to coat it, and make sure your cooling isn't effected so nothing overheats.

 

I really liked the idea of printing our own brushless motors. It shows that you can make almost everything with a 3D printer.

 

I wouldn't even try. There was a post on hackaday a while back which someone who printed their own motor. But it wasn't high performance of efficient or anything.

You'll have to go trough tons of iterations. You'll run into balance problems. And you'll get sick of winding the stator after a while.

I like the idea of a QUAD/CAR.

 

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Posted · Let’s design a multirotor together.

Hi Guys,

I've been following this thread with interest and thought I'd chirp up. I've been looking at getting a quadcopter for a while, been drooling over the Phantom 2 vision plus for weeks - but at 1000 pounds its expensive.

I like the idea of building one, but I know so little about these things. I went to hobbyking to see what the cost would likely to be. Wow, the options are mind blowing. I put together a list but would appreciate experienced people to look over it. I think it all matches up but I'm fumbling a bit over it.

HK-T6A-M2 - Hobby King 2.4Ghz 6Ch Tx & Rx V2 (Mode 2.. GBP14.56

155000212-0 - Thunder QQ Super - Multi-Rotor Flight Co.. GBP11.57

9244000085-0 - Multistar 2212 - 920KV Multi-Rotor Motor.. GBP26.09

9045000002-0 - MultiStar 10-4.5 (CW Rotation) Multi-Ro.. GBP1.44

9045000003-0 - MultiStar 10-4.5 (CCW Rotation) Multi-Ro.. GBP1.44

9192000130-0 - Afro Slim 20Amp Multi-rotor Motor Speed .. GBP31.46

Z50003S-30 - ZIPPY Flightmax 5000mAh 3S1P 30C GBP17.48

This comes to GBP104 (EUR130, USD174) and includes the Transmitter as well because I currently have nothing.

The takeoff weight of these parts is 700gm including the battery. I think this should give a total thrust of around 2kg -2.2kg which should make a 1.2kg aircraft reasonably nippy. I would hope for 10-15 min flight times but if we make the battery easy to swap over it should not matter too much. What do you think?

Can I suggest a name for this project?

The "Ultimaker Camel"

(because a camel is a horse designed by a committee)

:cool:

 

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Posted · Let’s design a multirotor together.

I don't know about the HK stuff...

You will definetly not lose a lot of money, but be prepared to get very low quality stuff which may or may not work. I've ordered some things from HK before. Some parts there are actually very good quality (like the XT60 connectors), but some other stuff is just plain awful.

I'm probably a bad advisor here because I usually just buy the premium stuff regardless of expense (one of the benefits of being single ;))...

About rain:

Electrically insulating all the electronics isn't difficult (but makes it very difficult to modify something afterwards!). The motors shouldn't care much about water, as long as their wiring is insulated.

Then, it's mostly a question of size - the bigger the model, the less it's going to be disturbed by rain.

A tiny quadcopter is prone to being blown astray by wind or "beat down" by rain. But a big model doesn't care much.

We should also distinguish between the following two uses, as they make a big difference in the hardware needed:

- A "drone" with self-stabilisation, precise and easy-to-handle control, and maybe even autonomous flying capability

- A "multicopter" for fun-flying with aggressive, sharp control similar to 3D helicopters

The first one depends on a good (and expensive) electronics platform, but doesn't need very strong motors. The second one is just the other way round. Not many electronics needed to get a multirotor flying (if you know how to fly them...) but you need powerful motors with lag-free control.

Actually, I don't know if there are models that can handle both "modes" as I've never actually come to buying one, but I'd guess that these would be the most expensive platforms of all...

Personally, I'm completely unable to fly an RC helicopter (I know it, I've tried...), so I prefer "drone-like" control like for example the parrot drones.

 

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Posted · Let’s design a multirotor together.

Also, there is another need that I found for multirotors that I would love to collaborate a design for - retracts! A retractable landing gear for 550-size and smaller multirotors. I think we can do it with PLA and still have it be strong enough to withstand the weight. Thoughts??

It is great to meet everyone and I look forward to working with you on this project.

 

Hi Erick,

Thanks for getting involved.

What do you mean by retractable landing gear?

- Do you have an example?

I think we should go for HK. Overall I think they have a decent quality but more importantly it is cheap and widely available. If we want this project to catch on after it is finished we want to make it as accessible as possible, and we can do that by keeping the financial barrier low. If you want to buy a more expensive component that is fine, but lets keep the default cheap.

 

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Posted · Let’s design a multirotor together.

The takeoff weight of these parts is 700gm including the battery. I think this should give a total thrust of around 2kg -2.2kg which should make a 1.2kg aircraft reasonably nippy. I would hope for 10-15 min flight times but if we make the battery easy to swap over it should not matter too much. What do you think?

 

You sure on that math? 1.2kg of lifting sounds like quite a lot. Actually, that's about the weight of my 2 meter sailplane.

 

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Posted · Let’s design a multirotor together.

You sure on that math? 1.2kg of lifting sounds like quite a lot. Actually, that's about the weight of my 2 meter sailplane.

 

Not 100% sure on anything really.

Its hard to pin down the specs on some of these motors, but generally these 2210 motors seem to be in the 520g to 740g thrust region. Just taking the lower limit gives 2kg of thrust. That sounds about right to me for lifting a quad up to 1.2kg.

Also, the Phantom 2 vision plus uses 2210 motors and has a take off weight of 1.284kg.

 

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Posted · Let’s design a multirotor together.

I think we should also focus on a waterproof quad-car, sounds amazing.

.. sounds a bit better then Ultimaker camel. ;) To me.. that doesn't really sound like something that will ever fly ;)

I am thinking of another name. Nothing comes to mind yet.

.. suggestions?

 

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Posted · Let’s design a multirotor together.

Ha ha, "Camel" was definitely a bit "tongue in cheek" :grin:

Waterproof is good. It would be great to land on a lake, dipping a gopro or similar into the water to video the fishes, then take off again.

 

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Posted · Let’s design a multirotor together.

Thinking about ways to collect people's input as far as requirements are concerned, I thought that a survey might do the trick.

If everybody agrees with the concept, would you mind checking the questions in the draft survey which I've prepared on surveymonkey and let me know if you would like to add/remove/amend anything before it goes live?

The next steps would be:

1. Tomorrow evening: Publish survey and start collecting data

2. In a week's time: publish the results on this forum

The draft survey can be found at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/create/survey/preview?r=true&sm=TUvpObI2qOaOtJdMvq10CP8JLmgc0eSYMSZoiNZB_2BMqhd9_2BCboAi4PHAuUqer2E5

 

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Posted · Let’s design a multirotor together.

Hi - Good start.

Question 1 already needs one to define cheap - which you do further below.

I think that there needs to also be a question - large and simple.

I also think that it would be cool to ask if we want a project that can be built to start with fairly cheaply (£500) and then by swapping out some of the gear, adding FPV and gopro you and up spending £1000.

So a flexible "platform" that could satisfy many uses - there is a risk it might not satisfy any?.

I also wonder if its possible to rank some of the things that you then ask about - if everyone just ticks them all (who wouldn't) then you will not have a good measure - if they rank then, and everyone ticks everything, but everyone puts waterproof first (PLEASE!) then you know what to narrow down.

Thanks

James

 

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Posted · Let’s design a multirotor together.

Hi - Good start.

Question 1 already needs one to define cheap - which you do further below.

I think that there needs to also be a question - large and simple.

I also think that it would be cool to ask if we want a project that can be built to start with fairly cheaply (£500) and then by swapping out some of the gear, adding FPV and gopro you and up spending £1000.

So a flexible "platform" that could satisfy many uses - there is a risk it might not satisfy any?.

I also wonder if its possible to rank some of the things that you then ask about - if everyone just ticks them all (who wouldn't) then you will not have a good measure - if they rank then, and everyone ticks everything, but everyone puts waterproof first (PLEASE!) then you know what to narrow down.

Thanks

James

 

Agree with all of that.

 

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