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Quadcopter

When I saw how you guys made the Parrot ar drone follow the red ball I found it really interesting. I do not want to buy a new parrot ar, but I wouldn't mind building my own quadcopter, how could I build my quadcopter and make it follow a red ball or avoid obstacles? is that possible? or I can only do it if I buy a parrot ar?

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Synthiam
United Kingdom
#1  
You can build your own. XLRobots are planning a flying robot.

If it flies, has a camera and can be controlled via ARC (either the same way the Parrot V1.0 does or using an EZ-B on board) it can track colours, faces, movement etc.

The biggest challenge you will face is making it so it's capable of flight. Size, share, weight, correct position of propellers etc. will all be important. The software side of things is pretty simple.
#2  
If i put an EZ-B on board and i get my quadcopter to fly, how does de software used for the ar parrot know how to move my quad?
And does the avoiding objects work aswell or is it only for the ground robots?
United Kingdom
#3  
You misunderstood me, I meant using the same way the Parrot V1.0 works as in using the guts and brain from a Parrot V1.0.

Using the EZ-B is your best option if building from scratch.

Flying, walking, rolling, crawling, it makes no difference, ARC can handle it all.
#4  
Thanks. Sorry for the questions. I would like to ask 1 more. If i was to buy a cheap quadcopter, switch the flight controler by the EZ-B, and put a webcam to the EZ-B, does that mean i would be able to make the cheap quadcopter do all that fancy stuff?
Thanks again
United Kingdom
#5  
Ask away, we like questions:)

Simple answer is yes however, it will probably have been designed based on it's weight. Adding more weight (the EZ-B, bigger batteries, sensors etc) may make it fly differently. I'm no expert when it comes to quadcopters so can't even begin to tell you how to work out and design it correctly so that it will fly well, all I know is weight and weight distribution is key when it comes to these things.
#6  
@Alvaro95 , most people who build their own quads purchase a couple pre made kits before venturing off into making their own. Their are so many parts out there and many don't work well together. Experience is the best teacher. Quads and hex copters are fairly new and mostly use normal RC airplane parts in specific combinations to get desired speeds and lift capacity. The hex copter is really the one that started the whole trend. Surveyors , commercial media and movie producers needed a "cheap" and Portable aircraft they could mount a camera to for aerial shots of car chases , panoramic scenery, high altitude shots ect. One option we are exploring is a high speed quad that utilizes horizon trex 450 torque tubes and tail ends as the props. This gives a mechanical response as fast as 1/10 a second to go for zero thrust to full. Also It would be possible To run All 4 props from all single motor as well. Previously this would have been very difficult but newer equipment , custom frames, combined with ezb can make it happen.
#7  
Thanks @rich and @jstarne1-XLRobots.com, what im trying to do is make a quad (which i will probably buy a cheap one) that can follow me, at a distance that i want as well as avoid objects. What i was thinking was probably switch the controller for the ez-b and plug a camera aswell as 4 ping sensors and use the parrot traking object and radar control. My hypothesis was. If i put a red shirt the quad will come to me as close as it can, but if i put 3 meters sensor i was guessing it would only come as close to 3 meters because of the radar control that doesn't let it get closer. I don't know if this is posible, or if the quad would go crAzy trying to reach my red shirt and at the same time stay 3 meters away from me.
#8  
It can be done but it will take some trial and error. Sometimes when we figure out how to do exactly what we want we figure out that isn't what we wanted it to do at all lol. You will be able to use the camera control to assist in getting a quad to follow you but take in mind this won't be simple. Flying robots are among the most difficult for obvious reasons. So take baby steps , set small goals so you can claim success. Do things like power on the quad, fly to a certain altitude then land by itslelf. Small things seem trivial but what you learn in doin these things is invaluable.
#9  
Oh I thought by just using the program for the ar parron in ARC would take care of the flying arround by itself.
#10  
No the parrot uses its own communication protocol , it doesn't directly translate to a RC quad. Most of the control functions are internally managed by the parrot on board hardware and firmware. ARC communicates with it to tell it which direction to go , turn , ect. The project your considering is developing your own parrot drone from some existing RC quad hsrdware.
#11  
Does that mean i would have to program it myself if i wanted some other quad to go by itself?
#12  
Yes , you can of course utilize ARC to make it easier. You won't be completely starting from beginning and writing code like a arduino , more that 100 tools are built into ARC ti make it easier but custom scripting to make a quadcopter function autonomously will be needed. You can do it though , I'm not trying to deter you , i just want you to have a grasp of what your goals are so you don't get discouraged when you get started.
#13  
Hahah it's ok i rather know this, before decidicing if i wanna go that far, i just thought that by simply switching the flight controller by the ez-b would let me use the ar pahnton program aswell as any ground robot programs in the ARC but i guess to make an air robot i would have to make the program myself lol