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Mechatronics Learning Studio

 

Quadcopter

 

Thomas Stewart, Marc Isabelle, Jenna Waldron, University of Ottawa

Introduction

                The purpose of this project was to design and build a mechatronic device.  We decided to build a quadcopter that could be used for photography.  A quadcopter is stable during flight and has the ability to perform Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) making it possible to fly almost anywhere.  For these reasons it is an ideal tool for awesome camera shots.

How it Works?

                Quadcopters usually come in 2 configurations, the X configuration and the + configuration.   In each configuration, the quad achieves its motion by varying the speed of each of the 4 motors, connected on arms attached to a main body.  Figure 1 shows the motion of an x configuration quad.   Figure 2 shows the motion of a + configuration quad.

The quadcopter receives a manual input from the pilot using the remote transmitter.  The signal is received by the receiver and is sent to the flight control board.  The flight control board decides how much power each motor should receive and regulates the speed of the motor using the electronic speed controller (esc).  Figure 3 is a block diagram of this procedure.  Figure 4 shows the power distribution for the quadcopter.

Components

 

                The following is a list of all the components required to build the drone:

         Frame: Wood and Acrylic.  The first prototype was made of mostly wood with some acrylic giving it a strong rigid body.  This frame was too heavy so for a second prototype a laser cut acrylic one was used.

Motors: 800kv DC brushless motors were used because they provide low speed and high torque which is ideal to have stable flight.

 

Electronic Speed Controllers (ESC): 20A.  These ESCs were recommended to be used with the motors.

 

         Propellers: 254x114mm (10x4.5in).  These propellers were selected because they were light, cheap and large enough to provide the minimum thrust for our needs.

  

         Flight Control Board: KK 2.15.  This board was selected because it was preprogrammed and had an on board LCD with buttons which means that adjustments could be made on the fly.

 

 

Radio Transmitter and Receiver:  Hobby King 6 channel 2.4GHz.  This combination was selected because it was cheap. Another benefit is that it has 6 channels when the quadcopter only requires 4.  This allows for the other 2 channels to be used for accessories later on.

Battery:   5200mAh 4S 14.8V   This battery was selected because it is powerful and ensures a longer flight time.