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Old Oct 22, 2010, 03:42 PM
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United States, CA, Williams
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And yet another AR drone Arial Video project

So after a couple of weeks of scouring the web, I was cross between the Gaui and AR drone. Well, because several of my clients' first questions were "can we use it inside?" And because I would rather prototype cheaply... I went with the AR drone. In the off chance of a crash, a lot less potential damage to people and the facilities.

So, today I picked up an AR from Brookstone, and a goPro from cyclesport here in San Francisco.

The plan:

Create several mount points for the goPro... underneath (yes, I'm aware of the sensors, but I think I have a plan for that), on top, and potentially on the front and rear.

Based on my intel, the AR can lift 250grams (around 8oz.). GoPro weighs in at 5.8oz soaking wet. So, I plan to use additional weights (very small, but placed much further away from CG than the go pro to use leverage to ballast it.

Additionally, I'm going to have to extend the landing gear. So, I'm planning on using carbon fiber rods from an indoor kite (very small and light weight) for the LG extension.

I'll post pix as the project continues (including the maiden flight of just making sure it functions in my living room).

Stay tuned...
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Old Oct 22, 2010, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taudronis View Post
So after a couple of weeks of scouring the web, I was cross between the Gaui and AR drone. Well, because several of my clients' first questions were "can we use it inside?" And because I would rather prototype cheaply... I went with the AR drone. In the off chance of a crash, a lot less potential damage to people and the facilities.

So, today I picked up an AR from Brookstone, and a goPro from cyclesport here in San Francisco.

The plan:

Create several mount points for the goPro... underneath (yes, I'm aware of the sensors, but I think I have a plan for that), on top, and potentially on the front and rear.

Based on my intel, the AR can lift 250grams (around 8oz.). GoPro weighs in at 5.8oz soaking wet. So, I plan to use additional weights (very small, but placed much further away from CG than the go pro to use leverage to ballast it.

Additionally, I'm going to have to extend the landing gear. So, I'm planning on using carbon fiber rods from an indoor kite (very small and light weight) for the LG extension.

I'll post pix as the project continues (including the maiden flight of just making sure it functions in my living room).

Stay tuned...
eager to see your test results

Tested: The Parrot AR.Drone Pushed to Its Limits (8 min 45 sec)
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Old Oct 23, 2010, 01:30 AM
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Joined Oct 2010
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Yeah, I saw that one. They had some really good points, but they didn't turn off they height limit in the settings... you can go as high as your range allows (but I doubt it's really 50m range).

First, let me apologize... we're getting ready to move, so you can see our boxes that arrived today, and some stacks of stuff waiting to go in them... lol, even a lighting kit.

So the video is exporting now of day 1 trials, so while it's doing that... here's a summary:

- 8oz? B.S.!!!!!
- With the indoor hull, it won't even get out of ground effect (sorry, person running the camera forgot to hit record on that one)
- EVERY TIME you change the configuration... flat trim it!!! (you'll see the result if you don't on the first clip of the video)
- With the outdoor hull, it lifts it, but it's REALLY sluggish. Plus, battery life gets sucked RIGHT into the toilet.
- HOLY COW, this thing is durable... I ate it several times flying it around a tiny space with the outdoor hull. blades banging into furniture and boxes... NO DAMAGE!!!
- Mounting the camera on top is just STUPID!!! It has way too much leverage up there, and when the drone tilts, it has to work REALLY hard to right itself. It makes it super unstable.
- Mounting underneath is going to be a must, and so will weight reduction.

The plan for tomorrow:
- Take the GoPro OUT of its housing (nearly cuts the weight in half -- from 5.8 oz to 3.3 oz) -- I think then I can fly it with indoor hull (which is a basic requirement for me to do any work for my clients)
- I'll use velcro and 3M automotive tape to fix it to the hull (no way I'm just depending on the velcro's sticky side to hold it when I've got a goPro floating with no protective box). Plus, if I fold the auto tape, I think I can angle the camera down just enough to remove any chopper gear from view.
- Extend the landing gear using the previously mentioned supplies.

Well, the video is still exporting, so it'll be on my followup post in a bit. I don't want all this typing to go to waste due to an expired page... so, to tide you over, here's a jpg with the gopro attached to indoor hull.


2010-10-22 21.02.50 by tyaudronis, on Flickr
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Old Oct 23, 2010, 02:56 AM
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And finally the video is done...

Project ARV (AR drone Video) - Day 1 (10 min 24 sec)
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Old Oct 23, 2010, 05:39 AM
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Taudronis, what are you trying to prove here, that the Parrot AR Drone is useless as an AV platform? What are the flight times on that toy going to be with a Go Pro onboard, 1.5 minutes?
Quote:
I went with the AR drone. In the off chance of a crash, a lot less potential damage to people and the facilities.
Thanks for the laugh.
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Last edited by Tarro; Oct 23, 2010 at 05:54 AM.
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Old Oct 23, 2010, 11:45 AM
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Wow, there's always one.
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Old Oct 23, 2010, 06:14 PM
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I've got some SD cam's that weigh next to nothing and also some very small, low powered video tx's that are perfect for short range. If you really need HD then the GoPro is probably a good choice, but if all you want is indoor video you can get away much lighter than what you are trying to do.

Check into the FPV forum or poke around some of the outfits selling FPV gear.

I've seen some pretty good videos taken with keychain cams scotch taped onto AR Drones. I'm not a fan of key chain cams for a variety of reasons, but they do work! Worth researching before buying, There are several makes, all look the same, but some are better than others.

Pete
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Old Oct 23, 2010, 10:09 PM
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The build:

Extended landing gear:


2010-10-23 19.35.00 by tyaudronis, on Flickr


2010-10-23 19.35.19 by tyaudronis, on Flickr



Aft mount for ballast rod (lined with rubber tubing)


2010-10-23 19.37.17 by tyaudronis, on Flickr



Ballast rod (2 washers glued to a CF rod):


2010-10-23 19.37.50 by tyaudronis, on Flickr


Assembled:


2010-10-23 19.38.34 by tyaudronis, on Flickr



GoPro fixed to the hull:


2010-10-23 19.40.37 by tyaudronis, on Flickr


Indoor body:


2010-10-23 19.41.49 by tyaudronis, on Flickr


Outdoor body:


2010-10-23 19.42.57 by tyaudronis, on Flickr


Earlier today I tried it out in high wind with no camera just to see what it flew like... not too bad. Uploading that video to youtube now, so it'll be up later.

Did a brief test with the indoor body... and... IT WORKS!!!!!

I'll upload a clip from the goPro after the windy test footage finishes and post it here...
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Old Oct 23, 2010, 10:15 PM
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That ballast is a bad idea, it will cause a pendulem effect were the quad will oscillate on that axis. Besides adding dead weight will reduce your flight times.
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Old Oct 23, 2010, 10:57 PM
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You might be right. I'll have to wait for the rain to stop to take it outside for a more open test. In this tiny area, the wind currents get just too crazy. Uploading the indoor test now, so for now... here's the wind test...

Project_AR-Day2 (8 min 34 sec)
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Old Oct 24, 2010, 01:40 AM
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And with the indoor hull, here's the video:

Project ARV: CameraMaidenFlight-RAW (2 min 56 sec)


really, not bad for such a closed space, and such little contrast on the carpet...



***edit*** forgot to mention... total flight time: 7min with stock battery.
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Old Oct 24, 2010, 05:51 AM
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Wow, your getting 7 minute flight times with a Go Pro on that bird, not bad. Just do a good pre flight before each flight, you are taxing those motors more then they were designed for.
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Old Oct 24, 2010, 12:17 PM
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Ummm.. you realize that there's an app called Flight Recorder which can use the internal cameras to take video...
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Old Oct 24, 2010, 01:17 PM
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Yep, but the onboard cameras are not HD. I need 1080p footage shot on a freefloating platform indoors. Plus those cameras are just total junk. Fine for looking where you're going, but I might as well record on a cell phone.

And tarro... you're absolutely right. I think the motors won't last long, but hopefully someone will figure out the motor mod soon (being discussed intermittently on the "original AR" forum).

Apparently, you can use a standard speed controller, and upgrade the motor... you just have to figure out which 3 (of the 5) wires go to the speed controller... the other 2 are for the LEDs. I have a multimeter, but I'm not sure what the voltages are supposed to be to each. Plus, it runs for now, so I'll fulfill my contract next week, then dive into upgrading the motors to something wicked more powerful. Maybe Scorpions? These motors look like little more than tail rotor motors for a Piccolo Pro.
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Last edited by taudronis; Oct 24, 2010 at 01:18 PM. Reason: fixed a typo
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Old Oct 26, 2010, 10:21 AM
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And finally...

Project ARV: African Hall (1 min 14 sec)
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