Initial Goals and First Steps

UMX Hyper Taxi

Initial goals.

* create a single rotor ‘tail sitter’ uav that can sit in stable hover indoors at a designated altitude over the floor with no user input (software controlled)

* update code/hardware to handle external inputs (wind from a fan, push from person) and regain stability

Stretch goals

* code/hardware so that the drone will follow the user within a certain distance, probably using iOS beacon tech (Bluetooth LE) – no obstacle avoidance, just follow.

First Steps

To simplify the issues – I’m going to start by hacking an existing RC controlled tailsitter – it is a UMX Hyper Taxi with a DSM 6ch UM AS3X RX BL-ESC microcontroller and receiver, one BL180 Brushless Outrunner Motor, 2500Kv, 5.5 x 2.0 Electric Propeller, four 2.3-Gram Performance Linear Long Throw Servos, and a 180mAh 2S 7.4V 20C LiPo battery.

Once the stabilization code is working on the Hyper Taxi and if time permits I’ll create a new UAV from scratch with a sphere form factor –  initially basketball sized, then going to smaller models as the design progresses – see  Spherical Flight Vehicle, Kyosho Space Ball, Puzzlebox Orbit, or GimBall for examples.

Besides the Hyper Taxi I will need one ArduIMU+ V3 – this microcontroller will supply the orientation and acceleration data that my program will need to figure what control inputs are needed to stabilize in hover. A second Arduino Pro Mini 328 will run the main program plus control the 4 servos connected to the control surfaces and the main lift motor. These two Arduinos will replace the existing  HyperTaxi microcontroller and will send the necessary commands to the craft instead of RC commands from a human pilot.

A big challenge is that I’m attempting to do this without GPS – there may be orientation and drift issues that I won’t be able to compensate for – we’ll just have to see….

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