Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Robo-Chopper

So I got an RC Helicopter, and being a little frustrated with how difficult it is to really fly one, I decided I'll do what I am good at, write code to do it for me.

So, starting off, I bought this chopper from my buddy Ryan, real good deal at ~75 dollars. I took it home, and tried flying it, and ended up breaking one of the rotor blades, this is after Ryan had already replaced the rotor assembly when he had broken it. Now that I'm into this sucker by an extra 30 bucks or so, I decide that I may as well go all in, and re-purposed my Arduino from my RC truck I was working on with some IR range finders. Now it will serve as the control unit for the IMU system for my little rc chopper.

I've got a 3 axis accelerometer already working with the Arduino, and will be learning the i2c protocol in it so that I can get my new digital gyro talking to it as well. Once I feel confident that both sensors are reading good values, I will start working on some sensor fusion to tie the values together. I am planning on putting some IR range finders that I have extra onto the chopper as well, hoping that I can try flying it indoors without too much .... danger.

So, onward with my studies into robotic control, I will need to write a safer servo module for the Arduino due to the fact that I damaged the other rotor control servo (luckily I had a spare) by allowing it to go past 35 degrees or so, which stripped the gears due to the rotor not moving beyond that point.

My new module should allow "trimming" settings so that the servo cannot go past a designated safe point.