Hill Cruiser - A model RC plane autopilot

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by Georacer, Apr 26, 2013.

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  1. Georacer

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Nov 25, 2009
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    Hello everybody!

    This is the fruit of the past months of efforts, on my thesis project. It's an RC model autopilot module!

    HillCruiserInstallation002.jpg
    HillCruiserInstallation001.jpg

    It's not in its final form yet, since I 'm waiting for the latest PCB design to arrive from China, but it's still a matter of weeks, and most of the work is done.

    It was a learning process for me and the final result depicts that. It's meant to be a proof of concept, not a polished product. A training stage that now leads to another project, much more professional.
    I wish I 'll be able to develop this platform further in the future. This test vehicle is just so much fun!

    This is the .pdf for a short (15min) presentation about the project I 'm doing tomorrow in a conference.
    Hill Cruiser - Conference Presenation

    This is the same post I made in the DIYDrones.com forum. It's a very large community based on hobby UAVs and they 've been a great inspiration for me all that time.


    Cheers!
     
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  2. tshuck

    Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2012
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    Nicely done, Geo!

    So did you run the Arduino software, or did you just use the pre built board?

    What kind of response times did you have for your controlled variables?

    Would you be willing to post implementation details?

    Good luck on your presentation!
     
  3. Georacer

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Nov 25, 2009
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    I 've built a shield for the Arduino MEGA to house the sensors and the I/Os. It's like an expansion board. The Arduino runs the code and controlls all of the peripherals placed on the shield.

    I programmed all of the software in the Arduino IDE. I also built the shield PCB. Alas, the last version desperately needs plated holes, so I ordered it in a Chinese fab house.

    I 'm targeting for 1 second time constant in roll, 1.5-2 for pitch and at about 3 for a 90degree turn.

    I 'll be sure to post my full thesis once I get it published.
     
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  4. Georacer

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Nov 25, 2009
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    The project is completed! My professor agreed to the final thesis text and I support on Thursday!

    Here is the thesis in .pdf form. Don't be put off by the Greek first pages, the main body is in English. Don't forget to read the Acknowledgment.

    View attachment George Zogopoulos - Thesis.pdf

    Of course by now I 'm not happy with the content. It seems so childish now that it's finished. However, I won't go nitpicking about it anymore. That will be the work of future projects.
     
  5. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
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    Great job. Congratulations!
     
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  6. tracecom

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010
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    Very impressive! Congratulations. How about a video of the unit flying, narrated by you?
     
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  7. tshuck

    Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2012
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    Great job, Geo, very thorough!
     
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  8. Georacer

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Nov 25, 2009
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    That's too much work and also requires video editing which don't know and really don't want to get involved with. Also, videos take time to upload. However, I have an onboard cam video aside. Not too much. The autopilot engages when the wobbling starts: https://www.dropbox.com/s/zrtq27or7lsf7qv/PICT0001.AVI
    This link will be valid for a while.

    I can plot you all the graphs you want, though. I LOVE graphs.

    For now I just want to go on vacations...
     
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  9. tracecom

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010
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    That's good. Thanks.
     
  10. Bernard

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 7, 2008
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    An ambitious project welldone-- what nice clean construction.
     
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  11. Umindu

    New Member

    Sep 1, 2015
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    can you give me the code for just the gps and barometer
     
  12. MikeML

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 2, 2009
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    Well done. You used the right airplane design. If you painted it, it would look just like my Cessna 182

    182.gif
     
  13. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    Old thread, Mike
     
  14. Georacer

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Nov 25, 2009
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    Hello Umindu,

    The GPS was a Fastrax UP501 and the barometer was a Bosch BMP085.

    Both of them are by today's standards fairly old, so you would be better off looking for more modern components.
     
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