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Building a Quadcopter with Arduino

Book Description

Design, build, and fly your personal quadcopter using market electronics to capture incredible photographs and record phenomenal videos

About This Book

  • Grasp the knowledge required to assemble your drone with light and cost effective materials
  • Enlighten your understanding about the flight by performing step-by-step pre-flight adjustments and acquiring the instructions for a safe flight
  • Get the best tips to deal with performance issues related to your quadcopter

Who This Book Is For

This book is intended for hobbyists who are looking forward to fulfill their dream of flying a quadcopter clearly made by them. Some basic experience in electronic circuits and aerial vehicles will make it easier for you, however it isn't mandatory.

What You Will Learn

  • Review and choose the most suitable material for the build
  • Set up and calibrate all of your electronic parts
  • Control and fly your quadcopter taking into account the weather conditions
  • Maintain your vehicle as much as possible and repair it whenever required
  • Engineer the structure of your vehicle
  • Develop a flight controller with its basic principles
  • Eliminate possible malfunctions in the future
  • Repair your drone if it crashes or faces any damage

In Detail

Quadcopters, also known as quadrotors, are gaining more and more popularity in today's world. With the help of these devices, anyone can have an “eye in the sky” and can monitor any place at any time. You can capture photographs and once a while and perform automated tasks. In this book, you will be informed about all the basic modules and electronics needed to fly a simple quadcopter. You’ll delve deep to create a fully-functional quadcopter quickly with the help of Arduino boards. Through this book, you’ll develop the skills needed to build a DIY drone that can capture pictures and record videos.

Style and approach

This is an easy-to-follow guide with pictorial depictions and technical descriptions to assemble your vehicle.

Downloading the example code for this book. You can download the example code files for all Packt books you have purchased from your account at http://www.PacktPub.com. If you purchased this book elsewhere, you can visit http://www.PacktPub.com/support and register to have the code file.

Table of Contents

  1. Building a Quadcopter with Arduino
    1. Table of Contents
    2. Building a Quadcopter with Arduino
    3. Credits
    4. About the Author
    5. About the Reviewer
    6. www.PacktPub.com
      1. Support files, eBooks, discount offers, and more
        1. Why subscribe?
        2. Free access for Packt account holders
    7. Preface
      1. What this book covers
      2. What you need for this book
      3. Who this book is for
      4. Conventions
      5. Reader feedback
      6. Customer support
        1. Downloading the color images of this book
        2. Errata
        3. Piracy
        4. Questions
    8. 1. Introduction to Quadcopters
      1. Basic components
      2. Basic categories
        1. Fully remote-controlled vehicles (fully RCV)
        2. Hybrid remote-controlled vehicles (hybrid RCV)
        3. Autonomous flying vehicles
        4. Different frame shapes
      3. Flight dynamics
      4. Applications
        1. Research platform
        2. Commercial use
        3. Military and law enforcement
      5. Future potential
      6. Comparison with other aerial vehicles
        1. Difference between quadcopters and airplanes
        2. Difference between quadcopters and helicopters
      7. Summary
    9. 2. Hardware Overview
      1. Radio transmitter and receiver (TX/RX)
      2. Motors and propellers
        1. Common motor specifications
        2. Choosing a motor
        3. Choosing an appropriate propeller
          1. Choosing the right dimension
          2. Choosing the right material
          3. Gathering more information
      3. Electronic speed controllers
        1. Choosing the appropriate ESC
      4. Battery and charger
        1. Choosing a battery
        2. Choosing a compatible charger
        3. Power distribution boards
      5. Radio transmitter and receiver
      6. Summary
    10. 3. Creating a Frame
      1. Market versus DIY
      2. Materials
        1. Wood
        2. Aluminium
        3. Carbon fiber
        4. Plastic
        5. Conclusion
      3. Frame shapes
        1. The X shape
        2. The plus shape
        3. The H shape
        4. The racing shape
        5. The stability shape
      4. Summary
    11. 4. Soldering the Electronics
      1. Bullet connectors
      2. Motors
      3. ESC
      4. Soldering a banana connection
        1. Stripping the wire
        2. Soldering a banana connector
      5. Soldering a T connector
      6. Soldering the PDB
      7. Summary
    12. 5. Electronics Installation
      1. Motor installation
      2. Mounting the propeller
      3. Installing the ESC
      4. Connecting the receiver
      5. Powering up
      6. Summary
    13. 6. Flight Controller Setup
      1. About Mission Planner
      2. Uploading firmware
      3. Connecting ArduPilot
      4. Calibrating ArduPilot
        1. Step 1 – frame type
        2. Step 2 – accelerometer calibration
        3. Step 3 – compass calibration
        4. Step 4 – radio calibration
      5. Summary
    14. 7. Flight Instructions
      1. Preflight checklist
      2. Motor checks
      3. Securing connections
      4. Transmitter voltage and settings
      5. Balancing the weight
      6. Location and environment
      7. Signal interference
      8. Long distance flights
      9. Unscheduled landings
      10. Summary
    15. 8. Cameras and Extra Functions
      1. Camera for photographs
        1. Position in relation to other components
        2. Vibrations
      2. Camera for FPV
      3. Failsafe parachute landing
      4. Servo mechanism
      5. LED strips
      6. Arduino boards
      7. GPS systems
      8. Summary
    16. 9. Repair and Maintenance
      1. Crash analysis
      2. Common issues
        1. Damaged propellers
        2. Damaged frame
        3. Vibrations
      3. Maintaining your craft
      4. Cleaning the motors
      5. Voltage testing
      6. Summary
    17. Index