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Author Topic: Suggestions of parts to order  (Read 341 times)
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Hi. I'm making a strange prototype for research into artificial pets in Zero-G. I work at a small college in Vermont, US.  I want to start by making a simple, simple, blimp for indoor use that will be powered by one thrusting fan, and held up by a balloon. I can build the frame/balloon. I want one gryoscope on the horizontal axis in the middle of the blimp's frame (not balloon), which will be spherical and covered in artificial fur, about the size of a soccer ball. It's a baby step. I know six thrusters would be great, or puffs of compressed air to move in Zero-G, but I'm not there yet, and working alone for now. I need simple for the first prototype.

So, I need an Arduino, nothing fancy, I guess an R3 Uno?

I'd like to buy parts for it to control the following.

  • The single thruster: A cooling fan for computers perhaps or a slow ducted fan jet, 5V, like this?http://www.amazon.com/CabCool-Single-Cooling-Cabinet-Theaters/dp/B001NJ7XFM?
  • The gyro: A small motor that I can attach about a 1 to 2 inch metal disc (I'll make) to act as a stabilizer in a gyroscopic way. This can also be on and off, or variable.
  • Motor mounts for the above to be able to screw it to something
  • A triple axis accelerometer that will be sending signals to the two motors to turn on and off depending on significant changes in direction or stopping.
  • A power pack, AA or LiPo. I'll only need about 20 minutes of intermittent on/off motor time.

Thanks for any help or links!

Caleb.
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All of those parts together will be quite heavy. How big do you plan on making this?

Also, why not just buy a premade blimp and attach the other parts to it, (while taking the weight of the parts into consideration too)?
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I'd love to mod a built blimp.

The challenge, besides being a newbie working alone in Vermont, is to make it about the size of a soccer ball, and covered with artificial fur. To test this contraption, I'll just use a balloon, or twenty, in a gym if I have to, to suspend it. I was going to put the parts inside something like a rigid form sphere with about 1" think walls, or this:http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/46727?productId=810561

I was thinking about moding this blimp, but not sure how to get the props into a ducted fan. http://www.instructables.com/id/Sub-Micro-Blimp/
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For props that small, I would you either silly string caps or spray paint caps. It really depends on the diameter of the props.
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Helium lift is only  1 gm/liter.  So watch your weight or plan on lots of big balloons  smiley
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Thanks for the info on helium and ducts. I think it might be best for me to go through a few projects in an Arduino book and find a local maker club. Then I'll try to make the prototype once I'm back in the groove of basic Arduino workings. 
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