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Author Topic: Quadcopter with long distance comm.  (Read 180 times)
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Anyone has any experience building quadcopters? I am absolutely zero to building them but would love to build one for college project, have to include networking and mobile technologies in project (BSc in Computer Science), I guess if I build an android app (no problem with that) that would directly be able to communicate to quadcopter controller (somehow) that would be pretty decent and interesting project compared to others in my course (mainly making shitty html *not even html5 websites).

Would this work somehow? Where would I start?
Some points:

*I have tiny bit of Arduino Experience.
*I would like to give quadcopter controller commands from my phone.
*If signal to master controller (my phone) is lost it returns home.
*I know Java pretty good, Android Native (java) excellent, Android Google Maps API V2 excellent too.
*I also kind of know C# (made games in Unity, so I guess that's close enough)
And side shit like JS.


I did bit of search and I came up with these possible solutions:

Communication over distance:
Arduino GSM Shield (I could send SMS to quadcopter which would be processed and commands done).
or
Arduino GSM Shield (I could call it perhaps and give basic commands like forward, backward, left, right, alt up, alt down, return etc...)

BT and Wifi is not an option since it's short distance.


I would really like to make this since it's something interesting actually to do rather than just code software.

I have pretty much 10 months to make this.


I know it's a big project but is it possible for me? (with no knowledge of building).

Let's even assume building actual quad (engineering side), where would I actually start with programming?

Thanks.
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Plenty of info and guidance on DIYDrones.com. Have fun!
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I guess if I build an android app (no problem with that) that would directly be able to communicate to quadcopter controller (somehow)

Yes. You could use the GSM shield.

It depends on what sort of communication you want to do about the practicality.

SMS can take a long time to be processed by your network provider. I don't even think they are guaranteed ever to arrive.
They would not be a useful form or real time control

You could open a network port on the GSM shield and communicate with it directly from your phone, eg via its IP address

Quote
If signal to master controller (my phone) is lost it returns home.

This seems to conflict with the other statements you made

Quote
BT and Wifi is not an option since it's short distance.

You could possibly use BT to determine whether the quadcopter is "in range", and the same applies to Wifi

But if it would need to return to you if either of these signals is lost, you may as well use them to send messages to the quadcopter in the first place.

Also. As a general note.
Although doing a quadcopter project is cool etc, I suspect that it would take more time to complete that you'll actually have.

People doing web sites etc are far more realistic about what is achievable.

My final year project was much more modest, an automatic medication dispensing system for people with memory loss, which would keep time, have speech synthesis and dispense the correct tablets.
I thought it would be easy, but I ended up spending evenings and weekend's trying to get it working, and in the end didn't totally complete it.

Yes. I still passed with Distinction.. ;-)
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Oh well guess there goes my idea down the drain so, that's 3rd idea so far (for same reason - Too big for too short time).
My problem is that I want to make project that involves both: Computer control + some physical interaction with the world.
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why not use a gps shield. then it would make it easer to return to home, as well as controlling it, since you could just have it move towards gps coordinates on a 2D plane, the some sensors for object avoidance.

then with the gsm you could send coordinates that you want it to go to, rather than enter in actual up down left right forward back commands.


that would also help solve the high latency involved with the SMS messages.


most quad copters only stay up in the air for 20-30 minutes, so you could set up to return home if less than a certain amount of battery was remaining.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2014, 09:11:13 pm by Qdeathstar » Logged

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Oh well guess there goes my idea down the drain so, that's 3rd idea so far (for same reason - Too big for too short time).
My problem is that I want to make project that involves both: Computer control + some physical interaction with the world.

How about hacking one of those cheap "robotic" vacuum cleaners

It makes a change from just buying a one of those 2 wheel robot kits (albeit they are sub $20 and a robot vacuum sets you back around $100 for a cheap new one - but the robot vacuum have a decent battery 1000mAH, a charger, plus a load of bump sensors and infrared detector etc

You'd need to chuck out the control board and fit something like an RaspberyPI with an Arduino daughter board, but after you did that you could fit a webcam laser range finders etc etc

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If you have Android programming skill, you could think about insert in your copter a smartphone. The smartphone will have a net connection with 3G and a connection with Arduino with an USB cable. So you could use all smartphone features as camera, memory, display, voice etc etc.

Luciano
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