QuadCopter as The Flying Car Test Platform: Diary of a Flying Car Engineer #1

March 27th 2018
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@init_27Sanyam Bhutani

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Source: TED

This article is aimed at explaining why applying our code to Quadcopters are a good Test Platform for flying Cars.

  • The fast pace of drone market is tremendous. DJI is launching safer, advanced and more capable drones every year.
  • Drones that were once used by Military have now become really common thanks to photographers.
  • Even Nanodrones like the Crazyflie, now come equipped with all the electronics and technology to make them a complete system.

Types of Aircrafts:

  • Fixed Wing
Source: http://www.boeing.com

An everyday Boeing passenger plane, a F-22 Fighter jet classify as fixed wing aircrafts. These are highly efficient and are the choice for longer travel distances.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_Martin_F-22_Raptor
  • Rotary Wing
Source: https://www.virginexperiencedays.co.uk/15-minute-helicopter-flying-experience-sp1

Helicopters, Quadrotors are rotary winged Aircrafts.

Osprey’s VTOL

These have rotating propellers to act as wings and keep the aircraft flying. These are capable of VTOL (Vertical TakeOff and Landing) which makes them a better choice for landing in tight environments where we can’t have long runways in place.

I’ll save some interesting Takeoffs for another post in the series.

Quadcopter

Quadcopter is a rotary winged aircraft, having 4 rotors.

  • The Quad or the Quadrotor or Quadcopter has an X-Shaped body and has 4 rotors mounted on every arm.
Source: Wikipedia
  • The adjacent propellers spin in opposite directions and the opposite ones spin in the same direction
  • So, 2 Propellers spin clockwise and 2 counter-clockwise. This is in order to preserve the net angular momentum and keep the complete quad from rotating.

Why Quadcopter?

  • These are the most commonly available drones.
  • The symmetrical body allows us to worry less about Physics while working on Flight plans.
  • High Density LiPo Batteries are now commercially accessible, which can be used to power these drones.
  • We have high torque Motors that can be mounted on the quad’s enabling them to perform not just stable flight but also some really cool manoeuvres.

Our Testing Platform:

We have taken the Crazyflie 2.0 as our flying car test platform, Udacity has generously offered us a discount on the Bundle. Also the kit will allow us to run our projects from the Flying Car Nanodegree, directly on the Nanodrone.

Crazyflie 2.0 Drone (Aka the init27 Flying Car)

If you’re interested in an unboxing Video of the Crazyflie 2.0 Bundle:

If you liked this article and want to chat, you can find me on twitter here

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