The plan for this project is to build a flying drone using an Altoids tin, on a very small budget. It’s going to be small, likely short range and meant for indoors or garden use to keep costs down. The parts I have to hand are:
- Large and small Altoids tins
- An Arduino Uno and Pro Mini
- DFRobot LCD Shield
- Some servos from which I can extract the motors
- 3 x H-bridge motor drivers (SN754410)
- MEMS 3-axis accelerometer ( LIS3DH with breakout board)
- Buttons, resistors, LEDs, single core wire etc.
- Plastic sheeting (0.2mm)
- Drinks cans for quick prototyping
I’d really like to use the smaller Altoids tin and the Arduino Pro Mini, giving me 57mm (l) x 48mm(w) x 14mm (h) in which to cram everything. My wireless transceivers, whichever I use, should be mounted externally to maximise signal strength so thankfully they don’t need to fit into the box.
My rotor control is going to be written from scratch using the Arduino IDE so that I can figure out how to control the drone stability and really get to grips with how to make it fly – I’ll keep you up to speed on my trials as I go and share my code for you to use once it works correctly.
Control is going to be fairly simple. The LCD Shield has a D-pad with select button. So, when nothing is pressed it should hover stably. The select button will toggle between up/down and direction of lateral movement.
I’m going to try a three-rotor arrangement to start with (rather than quadcopter) simply because HK Terminators are cool and have probably inspired everyone who ever made a drone in some way – so that’s the rough shape I’m going for. Fingers crossed it will fly straight.