I have just finished ordering the parts to build a Quadcopter, similar to the one shown in this clip:
The design I’ll use is based around an Arduino Duemilanove processor, and is called an AeroQuad. Here’s what I ordered, for a total of around $250:
Motors, Speed controller and Propellors
Four TowerPro BM2410-08T / 18A BEC / 9×3.8 Prop Combo
According to the HobbyKing table this motor should run at up to around 8900rpm at full voltage (10V). Plugging the size of the propellor (9 inches with a pitch of 3.8 inches) into this static thrust calculator, the thrust from each motor should be a maximum of 0.6kilos, so a total thrust of 4×0.6 = 2.4 kilos.
One Turnigy 2650mAh 3S 20C Lipo Pack
At around 11 Amps for each motor, maximum, the total will be 44 Amps. This battery should give a minimum operating time of (60*2.65)/44 = 3 minutes.
Radio Control Transmitter/Receiver
One Hobby King 2.4Ghz 6Ch Tx & Rx (Mode 1)
The “Mode 1” refers to how the controls are laid out. Apparently in the USA, most pilots use Mode 2. Mode 1 looks like a more logical layout to me, and since I am not a pilot, is what I chose. The Transmitter/Receiver works at 2.4 GHz. One idea I have is to put an X10 RF Spycam I have on board the quadcopter: this also operates at 2.4GHz, but in analog, so there should be no interference. I also have an ICOM IC-R3 handheld I will be able to receive the X10 video stream on:
One Hobby King 2.4Ghz 6Ch Tx USB Cable for Win2000/XP
This interface cable allows the Transmitter to be controlled from a laptop/desktop.
Arduino Duemilanove with ATmega328
One 5DOF add on board (X,Y,Z, Roll and Pitch)
One Dual Axis Gyro
The concept is that the sensors detect the position and orientation of the quadcopter, and the Arduino board runs software that uses this information, together with motion control signals from the Transmitter, to adjust the power going to each of the four motors. This in turn affects the thrust from each of the propellors, which produces the desired (or not!) motion of the quadcopter.