Student Creates Quad Rotor
Center for Autonomous Vehicle Research (CAVR)
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Leon Burkamshaw, a student working with CAVR, has designed and built a quad rotor for his thesis which involves building a low cost quadrotor helicopter that can be used as a research platform. Quadrotor helicopters have complex and tightly coupled dynamics that make them impossible to fly without some form of on board control system to dampen the dynamic response. While he constructed every aspect of this aircraft, the main focus of his work was in the software required for the on-board controller. He used a rather novel approach for the inertial measurement unit, a Wii MotionPlus. The MotionPlus device contains a 3-axis gyro, analog front end, Analog to Digital Converter (ADC), as well as a micro-controller that provides a simple one wire serial interface to the gyro samples. The advantage of using such a mass produced device is its low cost ($20). The video is of its maiden flight. In the video the quadrotor is being remotely controlled by Leon. The next goal is to have the quadrotor flying autonomously.
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