Homemade Indoor Helicopter
For a while I have been thinking about getting an indoor helicopter and modding it with an on board computer, camera, wifi to make it fly autonomously and do interesting things with it.
However, getting a prebuilt copter has its limitations. Such as * Helicopter not designed to handle the kind of payload you want * It being very hard to make modifications * In case of the helicopter being damaged it might be really expensive or impossible to repair
Thats why I want to create my own helicopter. I will admit it is not easy task, in fact even though I have a decent understanding of airplanes, many aspects of helicopters still bewilder me.
I came across an detailed account of how someone built a helicopter himself which is very inspiring, its the only such homebrew project I could find. To be honest I might have dropped the idea completely if I didn't find this. Here's a picture:
Hence, I am on a quest to understand more about how they work and play with some of these. I should really get access to a hack space for this project. I like these two in Toronto: * hacklab.to * Site3
Things I would need
- Airframe - This would be custom built but its a good idea to use parts from another helicopter that is popular
- On board computer - Im thinking a Raspberry pi might be a good idea, other possibilities are Gumstix and Ardunio
- Gyro & Accelerometer - I found a low-cost MEMS unit
- Camera - IP camera might be too big for this, I dont like analog cameras, so need to do more research here.
- Communication - I'd rather use wifi then using analog transmission. Ubiquiti Bullet is an interesting device that I have used before.
- Ground Control Station - I already created a software for this at AUS, I can modify it according to my needs.
- Books on the topic - Need to head to a good library (i.e. UofT)
This would probably take at least 2-3 years of spare time if not more, I'm already involved in a lot of stuff, but keep finding myself researching on miniature helicopters every now and then.