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Flying Robot Drone

Friday, July 15th, 2011

We would like to introduce our flying drone robot. We can fly this robot using Remote Control or it can fly itself using sonar, an on-board GPS, and following longitude/latitude waypoints. We have experimented with various frame designs and electronics, so you’ll see some variation in the pictures. Be sure to check out the video of of me piloting the flying robot.

 

 

How We Came To Build a Flying Robot Drone 

One day, we asked ourselves, “What kind of robot would you like to build next?”

We both answered, “I want to build a robot that flies!”

We knew it was going to be really hard, but we decided to give it a try. We set out to learn what it was going to take to build a robot that flies. We researched our options, purchased the various motors, propellers, and electronic components we thought we needed, and started soldering. As our initial design came together, we began cutting, drilling, and assembling the various aluminum pieces for the frame, which we knew would have to be both light and strong.

The Features and Design

We decided on a quad rotor design, which is a helicopter-like-thing with four propellers. The left and right motors use normal “puller” propellers and turn counter-clockwise. The front and back motors use “pusher” propellers and turn clockwise. This helps counter-act the torsional forces associated with rotor craft.

The core of the robot’s electronics is a special Arduino microcontroller board specifically designed for auto-piloting drones. This is combined with a special Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) sensor shield that provides a 3-axis gyro, 3-axis accelerometer, barometric pressure, and other various other avionics sensors so that the robot can sense its tilt, pitch, and yaw in three-dimensional space at all times. The software reads the robots orientation and feeds voltage to each of the motors in proportion to the power that is needed to keep the robot level at all times. This way, the pilot focuses on the direction and speed he wants to go, rather than spending all his time struggling to keep the robot from flipping, spinning, or rolling.

Once we flew and crashed our first design, we made some improvements and tried again. Then we crashed again, made some more improvements, and so on. None of our robots have required more trial and error than this one. But step by step, improvement after improvement, our robot got better and better. Today, it flies very well, has many neat features, and thanks to repeated practice, is relatively crash resistant.

We usually fly the robot using an RC Transmitter. However, it also has many autopilot drone features that we enjoy experimenting with. For example, the robot has an automatic take-off and landing sequence. The robot also includes a downward-facing sonar so that the robot knows its exact altitude at all times. By flipping a switch on our transmitter, we can put the robot in “hold altitude” mode, which tells the robot to automatically and constantly adjust the motors to remain at a constant distance from the ground as we fly it around.The robot is also equipped with a GPS chip so that it knows its exact longitude and latitude at all times. The robot can also follow a series of waypoints uploaded to the microcontroller from Google Earth. It turns out that we were not the only ones trying to build a robot that flies. We have joined with a whole community of people on the Internet (DIY Drones) who enjoy building and flying their own robot drones.

The Mini Flying Drone

We have also built a Mini Flying Drone. Click here to see details.

Mini Quadrotor Drone Robot

The upgraded Black Hornet mini drone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Future

Although our drones are flying quite well, there is still plenty more we want to do. We look forward to lots of fun and experimentation. We’ve spent most our time building, flying, and improving the robot’s frame and capabilities, but in the future we hope to do more with First Person View (FPV) flying using our video goggles, high-definition arial photography, automatic navigation, and more.

Click here to see our latest flying robot drone, which we made out of carbon fiber.

Flying Drone Robot – Technical Specifics

  • Aluminum Frame: Beatty Robotics
  • Aluminum, Hardware, and other materials: McMaster-Carr
  • Microcontroller: ArduPilot Mega (i.e. Arduino Mega Autopilot board)
  • Avionics sensor board:  ArduPilot Mega IMU Shield
  • Electronic Speed Controllers: (4) m2mPower
  • Motors:(4) jDrones
  • Propellers: (4) EPP 10×45
  • Radio Control Transmitter and Receiver: Futaba
  • Battery: 12v 3-cell 20C LIPO
  • Magnetomer: DIY Drones
  • GPS: MediaTek
  • High Definition Camera: GoPro
  • VideoTransmitter: ImmersionRC
  • FPV Video Goggles: FatShark

Special thanks to the Do-It-Yourself Drones community, especially Chris Anderson, Jani Hirvinen, and the other guys involved with DIY Drones. You guys helped us make our dream of a flying robot a reality. Fly on!

Comments (54)

  1. hyh
    September 23rd, 2011

    How long can it fly?

  2. Robert Beatty
    September 23rd, 2011

    With our typical-sized battery, which is medium in size, it has about 10-12 minutes of flight time.

  3. hyh
    September 23rd, 2011

    Cool… I think if you use carbon fibre frames etc. to make it lighter it can fly longer.

  4. Robert Beatty
    September 23rd, 2011

    A carbon fiber quadrotor just happens to be one of our current projects.

  5. Robert Beatty
    October 12th, 2011

    Here is a link to Black Dragon, our carbon fiber quadrotor. http://beatty-robotics.com/black-dragon

  6. BenWa
    October 1st, 2011

    Amazing work, Love that you are including the kids in the project! Keep up the great work! Perhaps a boat or sub next:)

  7. Harrison Faux
    October 1st, 2011

    Very Cool!!1

  8. Black Dragon | Beatty Robotics
    October 12th, 2011

    […] For more details on our various flying drone robots, go here. […]

  9. sonam malviya
    November 2nd, 2011

    sir plz mail me detail of this flying robot
    i want 2 flying robot as my major project

  10. divya
    December 29th, 2011

    sir please mail me the details of this project i want it as my major project.

  11. anoop punia
    March 21st, 2012

    sir plz mail me the details of the project. is it possible to make a robot that can walk,fly and even swim in water?? sir plz guide me. i want to make a robot for my final year project.

  12. mrugesh
    July 5th, 2012

    Sir, can you give me the circuit diagram of any one of three ??

  13. jenish
    July 13th, 2012

    sir please mail me the details of this project i want it as my major project.

  14. Humza
    February 27th, 2014

    Can u guys please tell me the size of the aluminum bars u guys used for ur arms?

    Thank You

  15. john
    March 1st, 2014

    sir please help me do the electronics on my quad copter.

  16. Robert
    March 3rd, 2014

    Humza, We’ve tried different sizes, but we like 1/2″ square aluminum bars that are pretty stout (0.050″ wall thickness) so they don’t bend or break when we crash. Other folks use much thinner wall thickness to reduce weight, which also makes sense.

  17. Azhan
    April 4th, 2014

    Sir, I would really appreciate it if you email me the details on how to make the drone.
    Thank You!

  18. Ananth ashwin
    May 1st, 2014

    Sir can u please give me the components details and specification of this project?

  19. brijesh
    May 4th, 2014

    How much is it going to cost my pocket??
    Pls send me the details regarding this…

  20. ANSA
    May 28th, 2014

    hey
    sir can u mail me its circuit diagram please

  21. Aditya
    June 24th, 2014

    Great project! I would like to ask what kind of feedback control did you use to stabilise the drone in addition to the IMU and the SONAR (for altitude)? I’ve observed that IMU’s can often have a lot of noise and have calibration errors so did you use any other sensors to compensate for that and improve localization (or say to improve position holding)? I am currently building my first quadrotor and plan to use the APM2.6

  22. ashutosh
    August 3rd, 2014

    sir please send to me full details , all componunt list and perfect circi=uit diagram, and please inform me how to buy this droune and how to create this droune…

  23. vijayakumar
    September 9th, 2014

    i am ready do my finaliear project ,sir please send to me full details , all componunt list and perfect circi=uit diagram, and please inform me how to buy this droune and how to create this droune…

  24. smita
    September 9th, 2014

    sir plz send me all components list, ckt diagram,procedure to make this its cost and all other necessary information

  25. Robert
    September 9th, 2014

    If you are interested in making flying robot drones, I recommend going to http://www.DIYDrones.com. They have excellent information and parts.

  26. maria
    October 10th, 2014

    great work! I have a little team here and we’re going to build a flying robot , but we have some issues with that circuit diagram … We’ll appreciate if you help us! so plz mail me the circuit diagram or introduce me a book or a source to guide me in this way ! thanks !

  27. Robert
    October 13th, 2014

    Maria: The best technical source for building drones is http://www.diydrones.com. That sight provides everything you need.

  28. maria
    October 14th, 2014

    Robert: thank you , I’ll go and check it.my problem is that i don’t know how to start its PCB design?! I’m working with Proteus , you know i think i need the original plan or something like this… do u think this sight can help me?! again thank you!

  29. Sam Ng
    October 18th, 2014

    Sir, Excellent work!

  30. salman
    November 22nd, 2014

    sir,i am giving you thank from my heart for creating your awesome flying robots.i also make a decision to make flying robots as yours in my final year project and would like to learn from it.that is why if you help me in my learnigh giving information,it will be pleasure.
    How i can contact with you for more details about flying drone robot projects.
    thanks
    SALMAN(CSE)

  31. Robert
    November 22nd, 2014

    Salman: Thank you. You can find all the information you need on http://www.diydrones.com.

  32. Ahsan
    November 23rd, 2014

    sir plz send me all components list, ckt diagram,procedure to make this its cost and all other necessary information

  33. sai pavan singh
    January 15th, 2015

    I like this stuff from my child hood, also my dream to build this . and i will my dream drone has some similarities with urs but urs awesome

  34. alien Amit
    February 20th, 2015

    Sir!
    It’s great.
    but can you send me the information about the tuning theory of drones!
    Plz sir !
    Thank you!

  35. Anil salwatkar
    March 8th, 2015

    sir ..I m really intrested
    …to ..build ..the flying machine ..I need ..the ..basic ..starting..means ..from ..where to ..start. ..

  36. Prateek Gupta
    March 11th, 2015

    Sir can you mail me ckt diagram with specification please.

  37. Mikiyas Girma
    March 17th, 2015

    Can you tell me how to be work? I want to now full Knowledge abt this robotics.

  38. Special
    March 22nd, 2015

    It looks really amazing. May Iknow if you have any souce code for this one?

  39. khan
    April 1st, 2015

    Sir…. can u give me the components details
    I want mack it..
    please sir…

  40. keshav
    May 2nd, 2015

    mechanism of drone

  41. keshav
    May 2nd, 2015

    please help me and send me the mechanism of drone

  42. taha
    June 6th, 2015

    can u help me for Design the quadcopter with out operator, in act quadcopter control using collective intelligence.

  43. ARVIND RANA
    June 25th, 2015

    Sir its looking so amazing and I’m interested to build it please mail me it’s circuit diagram

  44. shrddha
    June 30th, 2015

    sir cn u plz give me dis project detail with overall cost. ..plz mail me as soon as posible

  45. prajakta
    June 30th, 2015

    sir cn u plz give me dis project detail with overall cost. ..plz mail me as soon as posible

  46. TUSHAR SAKPAL
    August 14th, 2015

    sir cn u plz give me dis project detail with overall cost. ..plz mail me as soon as posible. please provide all the info.

  47. utsav
    September 13th, 2015

    Sir can u plz give me the whole machenisam that how to make robot..with circuit desgin nd all hardware or software materials

  48. amit kumar maharshi
    January 7th, 2016

    Sir its looking so amazing and I’m interested to build it please mail me it’s circuit diagram
    please

  49. swathy
    January 11th, 2016

    Hello sir,
    Iam engineering students interested in ur project can u mail me the datas.. pls rpl me as soon as possible…waiting to do our collge project…i would like to know the cost of making too..

  50. memona
    January 20th, 2016

    sir i wan,t to make a drone but it,s basic thing is circuit diagram .please can you email me it,s details and circuit diagram …..

  51. ravi upadhyay
    January 22nd, 2016

    sir can u plz give me a security drone project detail including with circuit diagram as soon as possible and software materials also.

  52. saiyed shahid
    February 25th, 2016

    Sir can you mail me ckt diagram with specification please.

  53. sonu kashyap
    February 27th, 2016

    Hello sir i need one help of you
    i want to make flying bot which can be controlled wireless connection
    so plz help me or guide me for my bot and for my future

  54. nadeem akhter
    December 14th, 2016

    sir, will you send me circuit diagram of any robot ????

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