If you are preparing to build a Quadcopter but don’t know how to start, this comprehensive tutorial about Quadcopter helps you as much as. Building a Quadcopter consumes a lot of time and also effort. If you are an inpatient, afraid of a good budget, you can also buy a pre-built kit which is available in the market. But, making the arduino controlled Quadcopter gives you hands on experience otherwise, you will miss the fun part of building a Quadcopter. From selecting the required parts, for designing the circuits, you will be involved in every feature of building a Quadcopter. This article discusses how to build an Arduino board controlled Quadcopter.
Arduino Controlled Quadcopter
Quadcopter is basically a flying vehicle like a helicopter with four electric motors and also four propellers.When compared to other RC flying vehicles, this comes with the most stable platform. This is why these are perfect for filming and aerial surveillance. Quadcopters are available in different sizes and shapes From the small ones these can easily fit in the palm of your hand, to the big ones that are accomplished by lifting serious filming gear and gimbals.
Opposing to the traditional helicopter, Quadcopter relies on its 4-rotors to produce uplifting push by working together.Every rotor lifts around one sector of the whole weight, which permits us to use tiny and low cost motors.Basically, the movement controlling of the quad can be done by varying the amount of power every motor sends to propellers.
Required Parts of Arduino Controlled Quadcopter
In order to make the Quadcopeter, there are different parts are used such as frame, rotors, propellers, battery, Arduino, ESC, IMU and RC controller.
The frame is the basic structure of Quadcopter that grips all the components together, but it also has to be flexible enough to reimburse the vibrations the motors produce.The frame includes the following parts
- Center holding plate is used for mounting the electronics
- The required Arms are four
- Four motor brackets are used, so that we can connect the motors at the end of the Arms
The material used to make a frame is aluminum, wood, carbon fiber, but aluminum is the most used material for the arms. More exactly, the square hollow rails are finished of aluminium. They are somewhat lightweight, inflexible and inexpensive. But, since they are not identified as great compensator for the motor vibrations such as carbon fiber ones can confuse the sensors.
Carbon fiber gives much better immersion of the motor vibrations, and is the most inflexible one. But, it is the most exclusive one. Wood boards are also superior for motor vibration leaky, but are quite delicate and can break simply in the event of a crash.
The brushless DC motors are also known as electronically commutated motors (ECMs, EC motors). BLDC motor is most suitable for applications that require high efficiency , high reliability, more torque per weight, etc. These motors are almost the same thing as traditional DC motors, but they constructed using an integrated inverter / switching circuit instead of brush , which is used to achieve unidirectional torque.
That is why these motors are, sometimes, also referred as ‘electronically commutated motors. One of the most important factor while choosing a suitable brushless motor is “Kv-rating“, which gives the number of RPMs the motor is capable of generating on a certain amount of electric power. Also, we need motors that rotate counter-wise, so that they counteract the props torque effect.
Propellers generate thrust, and each motor needs one in order for the quad to fly . These propellers should mount on top of the each brush-less motor. The 4 propellers are actually not identical. The front and the back propellers are tilted to the right(clockwise), while the left and right propellers are tilted to the left (anti-clockwise).
The propellers can be available in various pitches and diameters. We have to choose them according to the size of our frame, and once we have decided which propellers we will use, only then we can choose our motors. Propellers are standardized, and here are the most used ones for quads:
- 5 pitch, 8 diameter – Small quads
- 8 pitch, 9 diameter – Small quads
- 5 pitch, 10 diameter – Medium-sized quads
- 7 pitch, 10 diameter – Medium-sized quads
In general when we are selecting propellers we can always follow these rules
The larger diameter and pitch the more thrust the propeller can generate. It also requires more power to drive it, but it will be able to lift more weight.
When using high RPM (Revolutions per minute) motors you should go for the smalle or mid-sized propellers. When using low RPM motors we should go for the larger propellers as we can run into troubles with the small ones not being able to lift the quad at low speed.
Electronic Speed Controller
ESC is the device that is in charge of controlling the motor speed is a cheap controller board, only used for motors. It comes with an i/p for a battery, and has a motor o/p with 3-phases, so for each motor you need four of them.
When you buy the proper ESC, you need to pay attention is the max current level that comes from the basis. Select a controller with 10A or advanced. Also, you need to check how the programming can be done, meaning that you need to purchase an ESC that will let you to change the frequency of the signal range to the required value.
‘LiPo’ battery is the most recommendable power source for Quadcopter. It is light weight, and the levels of current are perfect for your need. NiMH battery is inexpensive, but weightier and it is also a choice.
The voltage of the LiPo battery is a single 3.7V cell, or packed composed as one (up to 10 cells which offer 37V). The most current version among the drone hobbyists is famous as the 3SP1 battery, which comes with three cells and offers 11.1V.
IMU – Inertial Measurement Unit
The term IMU stands for “Inertial Measurement Unit” is an electronic sensor device that is used to measure the velocity, gravitational forces and orientation of the Quadcopter. The measurements of Quadcopter allow the controlling electronics to compute the changes in the speed of the motor.
The IMU is an arrangement of the 3-axis accelerometer 7 3-axis gyroscope, composed they signify a 6DOF IMU. Sometimes there is also an extra 3-axis magnetometer for superior Yaw stability.
The programming and controlling of the Quadcopters can be done in several ways, but the common one is an RC controller in a stable mode. The difference is the way the controller interprets the locations feedback together with an RC controller joystick.The gyroscope values are used in rate mode to control the Quadcopter. Then, the joysticks on RC TX are used to set and control the required rotation speed of the axes, though if we release the joysticks it doesn’t automatically re-balance. This is applicable when doing acrobatics with Quardcopter as we can tilt it a bit to the right.
The joysticks on your RC transmitter are then used to control and set the desired rotation speed of the 3 axes, though if you release the joysticks it does not automatically re-balance. This is useful when doing acrobatics with your Quadcopter as you can tilt it a bit to the right, release the joysticks, and then your Quadcopter will keep that fixed position.
For the learners the Rate mode might be too hard, and you must start with the Stable mode. All the sensors are used to control the Quadcopters orientation in the stable mode. The 4-motor’s speed will be familiar automatically and continued to keep the Quadcopter balanced. We can control & change the angle of the Quadcopter with every axis using the joystick. For instance, to go forward, you can simply tilt one of the joysticks to alter the pitch angle of the Quadcopter. When liberating the joystick, the angle will be rearranged and the Quadcopter will be stable again.
Thus, this is all about tutorial to build an Arduino controlled Quadcopter.Hopefully this article has given you a better understanding what every part of the Quadcopter does, and how to go about choosing the right product for your Quadcopter. Please do not hesitate to write a comment regarding this article or How to implement electrical and electronics projects, please give your feedback by comment in the comment section below.Here is a question for you, what are the applications of Quadcopter?