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Building Smart Drones with ESP8266 and Arduino

Book Description

Leverage the WiFi chip to build exciting Quadcopters

About This Book

  • Learn to create a fully functional Drone with Arduino and ESP8266 and their modified versions of hardware.
  • Enhance your drone's functionalities by implementing smart features.
  • A project-based guide that will get you developing next-level drones to help you monitor a particular area with mobile-like devices.

Who This Book Is For

If you are a programmer or a DIY enthusiast and keen to create a fully functional drone with Arduino and ESP8266, then this book is for you. Basic skills in electronics and programming would be beneficial. This book is not for the beginners as it includes lots of ideas not detailed how you can do that. If you are a beginner, then you might get lost here. The prerequisites of the book include a good knowledge of Arduino, electronics, programming in C or C++ and lots of interest in creating things out of nothing.

What You Will Learn

  • Includes a number of projects that utilize different ESP8266 and Arduino capabilities, while interfacing with external hardware
  • Covers electrical engineering and programming concepts, interfacing with the World through analog and digital sensors, communicating with a computer and other devices, and internet connectivity
  • Control and fly your quadcopter, taking into account weather conditions
  • Build a drone that can follow the user wherever he/she goes
  • Build a mission-control drone and learn how to use it effectively
  • Maintain your vehicle as much as possible and repair it whenever required

In Detail

With the use of drones, DIY projects have taken off. Programmers are rapidly moving from traditional application programming to developing exciting multi-utility projects. This book will teach you to build industry-level drones with Arduino and ESP8266 and their modified versions of hardware.

With this book, you will explore techniques for leveraging the tiny WiFi chip to enhance your drone and control it over a mobile phone. This book will start with teaching you how to solve problems while building your own WiFi controlled Arduino based drone. You will also learn how to build a Quadcopter and a mission critical drone. Moving on you will learn how to build a prototype drone that will be given a mission to complete which it will do it itself. You will also learn to build various exciting projects such as gliding and racing drones. By the end of this book you will learn how to maintain and troubleshoot your drone.

By the end of this book, you will have learned to build drones using ESP8266 and Arduino and leverage their functionalities to the fullest.

Style and approach

This is an easy-to-follow guide with illustrations and technical descriptions to help you 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 files e-mailed directly to you.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Copyright and Credits
    1. Building Smart Drones with ESP8266 and Arduino
  3. Packt Upsell
    1. Why subscribe?
    2. PacktPub.com
  4. Contributors
    1. About the author
    2. About the reviewer
    3. Packt is searching for authors like you
  5. Preface
    1. Who this book is for
    2. What this book covers
    3. To get the most out of this book
      1. Download the example code files
      2. Download the color images
      3. Conventions used
    4. Get in touch
      1. Reviews
    5. Disclaimer 
  6. Things to Know Before You Build a Drone
    1. Drone
      1. Types of drones
      2. How can we differentiate between drones
      3. Drone frames
    2. Types of motors used for drones
      1. Several types of speed controllers
      2. Flight control board
    3. Radio transmitter and receiver
    4. Battery
      1. Propellers
    5. Battery adapters/chargers
    6. Connectors
    7. Some modules to make the drone smarter
      1. Power distribution board
    8. Summary
  7. Assembling Your Drone
    1. Assembling the frame
      1. Connecting the motors
      2. Connecting the ESC
      3. Connecting the ArduPilot
      4. Connecting the radio
    2. Connecting the RC receiver and transmitter
    3. Connecting the battery
    4. Binding transmitter to the receiver
    5. Know the aerodynamics needed for flying a drone
      1. Hovering
      2. Rising or climbing or taking off
      3. Dropping or descent or falling
      4. Yaw
      5. Pitch and roll
    6. Saving your drone from crashing
    7. Check things before flying
    8. Check the security protocols for flying a drone outside
    9. Summary
  8. Preparing Your Drone for Flying
    1. What is ESP8266?
      1. Connecting the ESP8266 to Arduino
    2. Downloading and installing APM Planner or Mission Planner
    3. Configuring the quadcopter
      1. Frame type selection
      2. Compass calibration
      3. Access calibration
      4. Radio calibration
      5. Flight mode calibration
      6. Failsafe calibration
    4. Summary
  9. Building a Follow Me Drone
    1. What is a Follow Me drone?
      1. Making a Follow Me drone using ArduPilot
    2. Using a smartphone to enable the Follow Me feature of ArduPilot
      1. Using DroidPlanner 2
      2. Using the Tower application
    3. Building an Arduino-based Follow Me drone
    4. GPS Tracker using ESP8266
    5. Summary
  10. Building a Mission Control Drone
    1. Surveying with a drone
    2. Using drones and delivery man
    3. Some other tweaks with the Flight Plan screen
      1. Communicating with the drone via the ESP8266
    4. Summary
  11. Building a Drone to Take Selfies and Record Videos
    1. Photography drones
    2. Requirements
    3. Assembling the photography drone
      1. Connecting the camera
        1. Choosing a gimbal
      2. Configuring the camera with the ArduPilot
        1. Connection
    4. Controlling the camera
    5. Flying and taking shots
      1. Tips for better quality videos
    6. Controlling the camera gimbal using ESP8266
    7. Summary
  12. Building Prototype Drones – Gliding Drones
    1. What is a glider?
      1. Lift
      2. Drag
      3. Airfoil and its type
      4. Incident and decalage angle
      5. Three axis motion (roll, pitch, and yaw)
      6. Thrust
      7. Aspect ratio and glide ratio
      8. Glide or dive and descent, gliding angle
      9. Climb
      10. Center of pressure
      11. Pitching moment
      12. Load factor
      13. Angle of attack
    2. How a glider glides
    3. Let's build our own glider drone
    4. Summary
  13. Building Prototype Drones – Racing Drones
    1. Racing drones
      1. Assembling the racing drone
      2. Connecting the FPV camera
    2. Avoiding obstacles using ESP8266
    3. Summary
  14. Maintaining and Troubleshooting Your Drone
    1. Safety of the drone
    2. Be careful about the battery
    3. Storage of the drone
    4. Carrying a drone
    5. Before and after flight safety
    6. Respect the law and privacy
    7. Troubleshooting your drone
      1. My drone tries to flip or flip when I turn it on
      2. My motors spin but the drone does not fly or take off
      3. The drone moves in any direction
      4. When I pitch or roll, the drone yaws
      5. GPS lost communication
      6. Radio system failed
      7. Battery life is too short
    8. Diagnosing problems using logs
    9. Radio control calibration problem
    10. Summary
  15. Other Books You May Enjoy
    1. Leave a review - let other readers know what you think