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Author Topic: Autonomous RC Heli!  (Read 3502 times)

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Offline blackheartTopic starter

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Autonomous RC Heli!
« on: March 27, 2009, 10:48:48 AM »
Ok. I've finished my second robot, theoretically! That's because my first robot was an epic fail. It fell from the top floor of my house right into my mother's giant ficus tree and then it caught on fire :p.

The second robot worked pretty well. It does crash sometimes, but hey, it works. I could post my videos of it, but it sucks and nobody's got anything to learn from it.

I was thinking of taking it to the next level with an RC helicopter. I can get one for about $75. There are cheaper ones, but they are too small.

Has anybody successfully made an autonomous helicopter?
 
Here is the outline:

-Rc heli chassis with the RC electronics taken off.
-A dual motor driver(one for main rotor, one for tail).
-An arduino(preferably mini or nano)
-An accelerometer.
-3 sharp IR sensors(2 for obstacle avoidance or object chasing and 1 for altitude)  || 1 PING for altitude. Which one is better?
-the rc heli motors and its battery pack for motors.
-9V NI-MH for arduino.

Space and weight distribution would be a real motherf****er, but hey, it will be fun!


I would like to get your opinions on this.


Thank You!
I'm out of ideas!

Offline Razor Concepts

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Re: Autonomous RC Heli!
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2009, 12:19:29 PM »
Ok. I've finished my second robot, theoretically! That's because my first robot was an epic fail. It fell from the top floor of my house right into my mother's giant ficus tree and then it caught on fire :p.
Please elaborate. Sounds like one heck of a story  ;D

Anyways can you link me to the helicoper? The smaller you get the harder it is to make it autonomous, its just a stability issue. Most people don't even consider making a small heli autonomous, they at least start with a 450 size (325mm blades).

Also can you fly a RC helicopter? It is necessary to fly well because you will need to control the heli while testing certain autonomous aspeccts - you cant just upload an autonomous program, turn it on and hope it works.

Offline blackheartTopic starter

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Re: Autonomous RC Heli!
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2009, 12:37:31 PM »
I can fly an rc heli pretty well. Heck, I can even fly a real heli. Enough with my leet heli flying skills.

Here are the specs of the heli.

SPECIFICATIONS
LENGTH
695MM WITH ROTOR BLADES AT LENGTH
560MM WITHOUT ROTOR BLADES AT LENGTH
WIDTH 61MM
HEIGHT45MM
MAIN ROTOR 495MM
TAIL ROTOR 148MM
WEIGHT 1.2kg
MOTOR TYPE: S-POWERED 370
BATTERY: 7.2V 650MAH NI-MH BATTERY PACK INCLUDED


Regarding the first robot story, I lied. It didn't catch on fire, but it did fell from my top floor and rendered himself useless(except for the arduino which I reused). Sorry to let you down. I'm like that mean kid who told you there is no Santa Claus.

I'm out of ideas!

Offline Razor Concepts

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Re: Autonomous RC Heli!
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2009, 12:51:55 PM »
Can you link me to the specific heli?

But from the specs I can see it is a micro-class heli. It will have a lot of trouble lifting up the electronics.

Offline blackheartTopic starter

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Re: Autonomous RC Heli!
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2009, 05:28:04 PM »
Sure, I could, but you wouldn't understand squat as the site is in Romanian. Here is an image of it. http://images.okazii.ro/auctions/2009/03/02/245489341465/19847932-1-500_500.jpg

I don't think this is a micro. I have a micro those suck.


I am also gonna need to control 3 motors right? One main rotor, one tail rotor, and one to control the pitch of the main rotor.

Am I right or what?
I'm out of ideas!

Offline Razor Concepts

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Re: Autonomous RC Heli!
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2009, 05:40:17 PM »
In the RC heli world those are considered micros since they are smaller than the "normal" sized helis.

That heli is way too small to make autonomous. It will barely lift anything. Also it only uses two motors, one for the upper blades and one for the lower blades (it is a coaxial helicopter). There is no tail motor. Two servos control the pitch of the lower blades for movement.

Is this your first hobby grade RC heli?

Offline blackheartTopic starter

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Re: Autonomous RC Heli!
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2009, 06:39:02 PM »
I didn't buy it yet. Recommend me some specs I should look for in the heli to buy. I had many RC few rc helis, but never opened/messed  with them. I just played with them for a while until they either crashed in the swimming pool, or something like my mean german shepherd devoured them.


Can I get some suggestions on the required/recommended dimensions for the heli?


I'm out of ideas!

Offline Razor Concepts

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Re: Autonomous RC Heli!
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2009, 07:06:38 PM »
I would just get the one you linked to get started in to hobby grade RC helis. Despite having real life heli experience, the thing that makes RC helis (the hobby kind, not toys) hard is that the controls reversed if the nose of the heli is pointing towards you, instead of a real heli where you are always facing the front of the heli.

Offline jordi

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Re: Autonomous RC Heli!
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2009, 08:38:58 PM »
The May/June issue of Robot magazine has an article on an autonomous rc heli made by the Bot Lab at Purdue university.

On a side note, there is also a recommendation of this website in the letters section.

Offline blackheartTopic starter

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Re: Autonomous RC Heli!
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2009, 03:05:33 AM »
Ok, but how about the heli that is going to support my idea? And lift it up in the sky?

What specifications am I looking at? for the main and auxiliary rotor?
I'm out of ideas!

Offline Razor Concepts

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Re: Autonomous RC Heli!
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2009, 09:41:25 AM »
That heli will not be the actual autonomous one, that is to teach you how to fly - trust me, hobby grade RC helis are very difficult so you will need to get experience with them. The little toys you had before are nothing compared to these.

Once you can fly the one you linked, getting a 450 class helicopter will be the best choice.

Offline jordi

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Re: Autonomous RC Heli!
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2009, 10:46:25 AM »
Don't know if this applies at all to what you are wanting to do, but here's some quick specs on the one they used in the article -

Length: 59 in.
Weight: 18 lbs. (without robotics payload)
Main Blade Size: 810mm
Fuel Tank: 16 oz.
Engine: Twin-cylinder 52cc Bergen/Zenoah
Payload: Up to 25 lbs.
Duration: Up to 30 min. per tank
Price: $5,500

See here for more -
http://www.logicsupply.com/blog/2007/10/09/mini-itx-robot-helicopters/

Offline paulstreats

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Re: Autonomous RC Heli!
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2009, 12:22:25 PM »
get a Trex450

Offline TrickyNekro

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Re: Autonomous RC Heli!
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2009, 03:51:53 AM »
I agree you need a acrobatics heli for the job...
This is because this helis are produced to generate huge accelerations over their bodies...
A huge accelerations means either a big loss of mass (explosion) or a huge force...
In this particular, it's huge force...
This means you can basically lift a nice payload without any modification... cause of the vertical acceleration force...
Also...
If you think you are good, stay the hell of a mobile pc platform as shown at some of the photos...
Why??? Because it's a mobile problem... Problematic power source, problematic weight... what so ever....
So start playing with DSPs and ARMs... And then take a position in NASA... no wonder pal....
For whom the interrupts toll...


P.S. I've been inactive for almost a year... Don't give promises but I'll try to complete my tutorials. I'll let you know when..

Cheers!

Offline Admin

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Re: Autonomous RC Heli!
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2009, 11:37:58 AM »
Quote
That's because my first robot was an epic fail. It fell from the top floor of my house right into my mother's giant ficus tree and then it caught on fire :p.

yea, my 1st was an epic fail too, so welcome to the club . . . did you get video of it? :P


Anyway, I'm also working on a robot helicopter. You'll see a few helicopter vids in the SoR youtube account, but nothing autonomous yet. I plan to have it working this winter. Mine will be designed for indoor use, navigating doorways and such.

The GPS signal in Thailand is extremely poor, so can't do an outdoor heli here . . .


Sure, I could, but you wouldn't understand squat as the site is in Romanian. Here is an image of it. http://images.okazii.ro/auctions/2009/03/02/245489341465/19847932-1-500_500.jpg

I saw this heli at the local toy store, they have a version where the dome is clear plastic so you can put like sharp IR or something in it. Its my #1 choice for the next heli I buy. Currently I already have a Blade CX, but haven't tried to hack it yet. The Blade has more than enough power to lift what I want, but 10 minute battery life means only short flights.

Keep me updated on your project!

Offline blackheartTopic starter

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Re: Autonomous RC Heli!
« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2009, 06:09:49 AM »
For now, I got that heli and played with it, but it's not good to lift anything up. I was gonna do it with IR sensors, but if I decide on a powerful 3D heli, it has to be able to fly outdoors, and the sun would mess up the sensors' readings I think.

So accelerometers and sonars would do it for outdoor flights.

Meanwhile, I am experimenting with a massive autonomous rover. I wanna make this robot from scratch, not with an RC car chassis. I have 4 Continuous rotation servos from HITEC, 3 sharp IR rangefinders(10-80 cm), and I am having trouble with attaching some massive wheels to the servos, because I can't find big metal servo horns.


I will keep updating this thread as the project is advancing. Good luck!
I'm out of ideas!

Offline Razor Concepts

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Re: Autonomous RC Heli!
« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2009, 11:57:04 AM »
Why not use a RC car chassis? They are designed to go off road and will be more durable than a home-made type.

Offline blackheartTopic starter

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Re: Autonomous RC Heli!
« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2009, 05:10:36 AM »
Well, I will have to go off-topic. I used an rc car chassis and yes, it is WAY more durable. But it feels like cheating and it's not the same feeling of happiness when you see it working. When you build something from scratch, and then you see the final product, it makes you feel good.

Also, rc car chassis' are made out of hard plastic. For this rover, I want something that is flexible. So I found a rectangular piece of cork and it is very strong, yet flexible, but not very flexible. It is exactly what I need. The rover should be able to climb on objects like books in my house.

I'm out of ideas!

Offline aludra_55

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Re: Autonomous RC Heli!
« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2009, 05:49:31 PM »
hi...  my project is an autonomous heli too...  i got a 450 size helicopter and i'm learning to fly right now... i am able to hover for a couple of minutes or so but my blade cracked against my brother's car's chassis... lol!!!...
funny...

 


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