Book Image

Designing Purpose-Built Drones for Ardupilot Pixhawk 2.1

By : Ty Audronis
Book Image

Designing Purpose-Built Drones for Ardupilot Pixhawk 2.1

By: Ty Audronis

Overview of this book

The Ardupilot platform is an application ecosystem that encompasses various OS projects for drone programming, flight control, and advanced functionalities.The Ardupilot platform supports many Comms and APIs, such as DroneKit, ROS, and MAVLink. It unites OS drone projects to provide a common codebase. With the help of this book, you will have the satisfaction of building a drone from scratch and exploring its many recreational uses (aerial photography, playing, aerial surveillance, and so on). This book helps individuals and communities build powerful UAVs for both personal and commercial purposes. You will learn to unleash the Ardupilot technology for building, monitoring, and controlling your drones.This is a step-by-step guide covering practical examples and instructions for assembling a drone, building ground control unit using microcontrollers, QgroundControl, and MissionPlanner. You can further build robotic applications on your drone utilizing critical software libraries and tools from the ROS framework. With the help of DroneKit and MAVLink (for reliable communication), you can customize applications via cloud and mobile to interact with your UAV.
Table of Contents (16 chapters)
Title Page
About the Author
About the Reviewer
Customer Feedback

Designing your first VTOL

VTOLs have all the complexity of an airplane and a multicopter combined. So, you may want to start simple. Remember the Bixler we fitted with Pixhawk in the last chapter? This would be an excellent candidate to start with. Why? Because it's already a fully set up airplane. So, the first half is already done. Now we just have to figure out how to hybridize it.

We need to integrate the functionality of a multicopter without adding too much weight to the frame. So, it's not just a matter of gluing on a multicopter airframe. The multicopter needs to lift the weight of the airplane, and the airplane needs to keep the weight of the multicopter aloft during forward flight.

Not only that, but the energy requirements for our airplane are not very high (using just a 3S 1100 mAh LiPo battery). We could easily lift a drone and the airplane's weight with a 6S LiPo battery. But then we have all the extra weight of the battery, and all the extra weight of the motors and propellers...