Quadcopter Overview

The UAV is a custom quad-rotor helicopter consisting of off-the-shelf parts from two suppliers. This system is optimized in cost and flexibility, and can be built for $280 including battery, GPS, telemetry, and control board. The weight is 800g w/o battery, 1200g w/ battery. Maximum efficient additional payload is 1400g.

Here's some photos:


Hexacopter Version 1 - Overview

The UAV is a custom multi-rotor helicopter that consists of off-the-shelf parts. Six DJI 2212 motors connected to a DJI Flame Wheel F550 hexacopter frame and connected via 30A electronic speed controllers (ESCs) to the ArduPilot Mega 2.5 (APM 2) autopilot system. The ArduPilot handles low-level control of the ESCs, input and output from sensors (3-axis gyro, 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis magnetometer, barometer, GPS), autonomous stabilization, GPS-based navigation, and hardware failsafe (fallback to Spektrum 7-ch remote / AR8000 receiver). The APM 2 is connected via MAVLink protocol to an embedded PC. The embedded PC is responsible for executive control of the aircraft (i.e. running the tracking software itself). A camera is mounted on a servo-stabilized gimbal underneath the UAV and is also connected to the embedded PC. A 3DR 900 MHz Telemetry module is attached to the embedded PC to enable two-way communication with ground vehicles and forwarding of MAVLink messages to the APM 2.

Hexacopter Version 1 - Detail Parts List

All prices reported in USD. The robot costs approximately $2,000.

QuantityPriceDescriptionPurchased WhereFunction
Electromechanical Parts and Components
1318.00DJI Flame Wheel F550 ARF Kit (Frame, 6x Motor, 6x ESC, 6x 10" Props)Heli-WorldFrame and Motors
224.00DJI 2212 Electric MotorHeli-WorldExtra Motors
23.00DJI 10" PropellerHeli-WorldExtra Propellers
1193.99Naza FlameGear X468 Landing Gear and Camera Mount (w/2 Hitec HS-65MG Servos)RC DronesCamera Mount and Landing Gear
16.745-Pack 15CM Twisted 22AWG JR Servo ExtensionseBayWiring Supplies
17.9510-Pair Deans Ultra T-Style ConnectorseBayWiring Supplies
14.995ft 10 Gauge Red/Black Pair WireeBayWiring Supplies
Flight Control, RC, and Sensor Electronics
1249.99APM 2 Flight Controller w/ uBlox LEA-6H external GPS Module and related cablesDIY DronesMultirotor Autopilot / IMU / Controller
174.993DR 915 MHz Radio Telemetry KitDIY DronesWireless Telemetry Module
1299.99Spektrum DX7s 7 CH Transmitter and AR8000 ReceiverDIY DronesRemote Control Unit
139.99Optical Flow SensorDIY DronesOptical Flow Sensor (For more precise position hold)
144.95MB1200 XL-MaxSonar-EZ0 High Performance Ultrasonic Range FinderDIY DronesSonar (Altitude Sensor for altitudes less than 10m)
1179.995000 mAh 4S 14.8V G6 65C Lithium Polymer Battery (Thunder Power TP5000-4SPP65)Heli-WorldBattery
1119.991-6 Cell Lithium Polymer Charger with Balancer (Thunder Power TP610C-ACDC)Heli-WorldBattery Charger
159.26Castle Creations CC BECCastle CreationsPower Regulator

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