There is a lot of interest in UAVs these days
(Unmanned Aeriel Vehicles, aka flying drone robots),
like the quadrotor style "quadcopters".
But here's another UAV approach, that's quite interesting,
and has high potential for DIY UAV hobby experiments:
The AirBurr Project: Robust Flight in Cluttered Indoor Environments
Check out this video:
Instead of a quadcopter's 4 motors, it's a "flying egg", with only 2
facing concentric prop motors, and a pair of servos running an X-vane.
This gives you a number of advantages over quadcopters:
- 2 vs 4 prop motors - Cheaper, and if the other hardware
is light enough it MAY have more flying time.
- Simpler control algorithms (but, code is "weightless" AND a one-time cost...)
- Geometry & CG gives higher inherent stability (it's "pendulum-like")
- Uses identical standard props, vs having to find matched LH/RH pairs.
- Doesn't require as many sensors on board, JUST to fly.
- Resilient to collisions, with a self-righting ability.
(If it is grounded, it just rights itself and takes off again! :-)
- Thrust is on centerline, so IF you intend to lift something
you have to think hard about airflow. Quadrotors may be a better
choice for dangling things below it, like cameras or object
pick-n-place contests. But as a simple flying camera-droid UAV
(vs a "lifter"), IMHO this "flying egg" is a great choice.
Question - Do you guys think this would be cheaper & easier to
make, and/or longer flying than a quadcopter? (esp with something
like the cheap $5/pair flyweight micro-servos Paul H once found.)
*** PAUL - Do you still have a link for those $5/pair micro-servos?
I'm not sure, but control is so much simpler and stability is inherent,
you may even be able to get away without an onboard computer
and sensor suite, and just use a basic R/C rig with servo mixing to fly it.
Bumper cage - Try my recycled windshield wiper stainless
steel strips. (FREE, in every auto supply's outdoor trash bins,
the day AFTER a rain. :-) Yea, they're not as light as carbon fiber,
but they're a whole lot cheaper!
QUESTION: How do you easily weld stainless steel strips together?
What's the proper welding tech? (A DIY cap discharge spot welder?)
Hmmm.. If you make the bumper egg or teardrop-shaped, and
get the CG right, you MAY be able to get away without the
legs, by making it act like a "Weeble" toy and be self-righting:
So... Thoughts? IF you ever wanted to attempt a UAV copter,
WOULD this be a better or cheaper choice than a quadcopter?
How would YOU make a UAV?
- Keith Mc.