Arducopter: Arduino helicopter control


A recent Arduino -vs- Basic Stamp discussion over on the DIY Drones site really caught my eye. Jordi makes a nice argument for the Arduino, showing off the current state of his Arducopter, which you can see in the video above. Built using a low cost electric heli, an Arduino board, and the guts from a Wii Nunchuck, his system can currently auto stabilize roll and pitch. More detail and source code are posted at the link below. It’s a really great start.

I’ve also been working on an autonomous helicopter project. While I’ve been able to build a general game-plan and test a few things with my BS2 controller, I know it’s going to be insufficient for the device’s needs.

I can say this with a bit of certainty, because I’ve built a GPS-guided RC car in the past using the BS2. Even with heavy optimization, I used just about all the available memory on the Basic Stamp. There’s not much room to read additional accelerometer data and manage the control outputs of even a little 4 channel heli. Long story short, I’ve got a Boarduino in the mail.

Can a Basic Stamp manage reading and processing accelerometer, compass, and GPS data at the same time? If so, I’d love to hear it, but I’m thinking it’d be difficult to impossible. Don’t get me wrong—I love my BS2. It’s great for prototyping and quickly building smaller projects. Objectively, though, the Arduino is a little faster, has more ram, and costs much less.

Arducopter – Link
DIY Drones discussion on Arduino versus Basic Stamp for UAVs – Link

10 thoughts on “Arducopter: Arduino helicopter control

  1. Jordi says:

    Wow, thanks..i use to read this blog :D

  2. naikrovek says:

    that’s roll & pitch.

    roll is the paper air plane does when you fold the wingtips in different directions.

    pitch is what the paper air plane does when you fold both wingtips in the same direction.

    yaw is what the paper air plane does when you put a rudder on it and fold it in one direction.

    This helicopter would need a gyro of some kind and a compass to autopilot on yaw.

  3. Jason Striegel says:

    thanks. typo corrected. he’s actually just using the helicopter’s built-in gyro to compensate for yaw.

  4. Adam says:

    What would be really cool would be a helicopter controlled by a Wii Nunchuck!!

  5. HairyG says:

    Yes it is possible to load compass, gps & triaxis into a bs2, but it is slow as he**. im working on a propeller autopilot for my heli and had allready made this code: for the bs2.

    the propstick is defiinately much better =).

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