Arduino Drone Project attempt as a newbie

Hi All,

First of all sorry for my bad English.
I'm familiar to electronic parts but newbie for arduino, I already made a few simple project but I want to try to make a project for a drone has autopilot that powered by arduino and I have some parts which could use on that.
Could you take a look to them and tell me which one are suitable and what else will I need?

3 x Arduino Nano V3/ATmega168
1 x Arduino Nano 3.0/AT328
1 x Arduino Mega 2560 Rev3
1 x Arduino UNO R3
1 x Sensor Shield V5

1 x Syma Full Set Replacements For Syma X5 X5C X5C-1 RC Drone Include Landing gear Protectors Motor cover Motor Propellers Light bar
http://s.aliexpress.com/eE7n2MN3

1 x HC05 HC-05 master-slave 6pin JY-MCU anti-reverse, integrated Bluetooth serial pass-through module, wireless serial
http://s.aliexpress.com/YFriemyu

1 x 433Mhz RF Transmitter With Receiver Kit For Arduino ARM MCU Wireless
http://s.aliexpress.com/MNjeYFBj

1 x NEW 3-Axes Accelerometer Gyroscope Module For Arduino MPU 6050 new arrival
http://s.aliexpress.com/yYJRvIn6

1 x HC-SR04 Ultrasonic Module Ultrasonic Sensor HCSR04 Distance Measuring Module for PICAXE Microcontroller Arduino UNO HC SR04
http://s.aliexpress.com/3muyQnM3
1 x ESP8266 ESP-01 Serial WIFI Wireless Transceiver Module Send Receive free shipping

1 x CP2102 USB 2.0 to TTL UART Module 6Pin Serial Converter STC Replace FT232 Module

1 x GY-68 BMP180 Digital Barometric Pressure Sensor Board Module For Arduino
http://s.aliexpress.com/UN7r6zuI

1 x 3V-5V HMC5883L Triple Axis Compass Magnetometer Sensor Module For Arduino Hot sale

1 x 7.4V 2000 mah Lipoly battery Spare part for Syma X8W / X8C / X8G RC Quadcopter RC Drone helicopter
http://s.aliexpress.com/RJZJnYju
1 x 4 channel IIC I2C Logic Level Converter Bi-Directional Module 5V to 3.3V For Arduino
http://s.aliexpress.com/I7bEzMBv
1 x New Arrival Mciro SD TF Card Memory Shield Module SPI Micro SD Storage Expansion Board For Arduino 51 Wholesale

1 x SD Card Reader Module Storage Sensor Module Reading and Writing Module for Arduino Slot Socket Reader ARM MCU SPI Port

The choice of the mechanical components, sensors and motors is up to you, also the assembly of all parts. Don't forget motor driver modules.

For software development and breadboarding an Uno or Mega is fine. Later you'll move your program onto some smaller board, mounted in the drone. If you are not an experienced coder, start exploring every component using available sample code. The final sketch will take several months to write from scratch, or you search for a complete "Arduino Quadrocopter" project (e.g. on SourceForge).

Thanks for answer, actually I want to use this project to learn coding too so time doesn't matter I can work on it one month or year.
Regarding to motor driver modules, I'm a little confused about that, when I researched diy drone projects people usually use esc for each motor, is there any way avoid to use esc, maybe just one shield to drive motors or is there anyway to drive them from directly arduino?

No Arduino pin can drive an motor directly (40mA max.), that's why you need some driver module for that purpose. For a drone some ESC module looks good to me, provided that you or your motors (w/o brushes?) provide the required feedback signals.

BTW vendor links are almost unusable for technical details. You should only buy parts with complete data sheets available, best also with Arduino sample code and/or libraries. Provide relevant links when going into details with specific parts.

Thank you very much for information and suggestions, actually I collected those parts for another projects or some of them taken from friends etc. So I can order correct parts if I can't use I have.

So I will start to find a sample project to take a better look then we'll see :slight_smile:

The "Replacements For Syma X5" includes DC motors. To drive them you just need a small MOSFET for each. You would only need an ESC for the brushless motors used on larger quadcopters. Hook them up to PWM output pins and use analogWrite() to control speed.

You might be interested in the arduino-based flight controller designed by Joop Brokking: The official YMFC-3D quadcopter project page - Frequently Asked Questions. For DC motors you would just replace the Motor1Servo.write(speed) or Motor1Servo.writeMicroseconds(speed) calls with analogWrite(Motor1Pin, speed) calls and convert the data ranges:
servo.write() takes 0 to 180
servo.writeMicroseconds() takes 1000 to 2000
analogWrite() takes 0 to 255

I read some projects for coreless motors yesterday and mosfet solution is a good advice thanks, but I just can't figured out that, will I need flyback diodes?

And really thanks for link, I will definitely take a good look to Joop Brokking's work, I think it's very useful for me. Thanks again.

Lunedor:
mosfet solution is a good advice thanks, but I just can't figured out that, will I need flyback diodes?

Yes, since you are driving a coil of wire (motor or solenoid).
MOSFET control of a DC motor is fairly easy and, as is often the case, Nick Gammon is the best source for data:
http://www.gammon.com.au/motors

I have a Syma X5 quadcopter and for the money it's fun to fly. But there's no way it can carry a 2000mAh Lipo + additional electronics and stuff.

You really should use standard brushless outrunners and ESCs, as these provide a lot more thrust. Hobbyking is a good source, but you can find the parts on eBay or Aliexpress as well.

lg, couka

Yes actually I realized that battery too much for motors so I decided to make a micro drone with them just for fun and get familiar to drone process, after that I will buy brushless motors for my main project which is including auto pilot function.
I only have a question mark for fun project related to RF, can I use my RF kit(433Mhz RF Transmitter With Receiver Kit For Arduino ARM MCU Wireless) to control the drone, for example if I connect the receiver to drone and use another android with transmitter and joystick for control it?

Lunedor:
I only have a question mark for fun project related to RF, can I use my RF kit(433Mhz RF Transmitter With Receiver Kit For Arduino ARM MCU Wireless) to control the drone, for example if I connect the receiver to drone and use another android with transmitter and joystick for control it?

If you mean "another ARDUINO with transmitter and joystick" then yes, that could work. The 433MHz modules are probably not the best choice because they don't deal well with electrical noise well and a quadcopter tends to have a lot of electrical noise because of the rapidly switching motor coils. You would probably be better served with NRF24L01 transceivers. They are available for under $2 per pair from eBay.

Here is a video about making your own Arduino-based RC transmitter using the NRF24L01 modules:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ekFXTn3GhE

Thank you very much, I will get 2 pcs NRF24L01, mosfets and diodes then start to build a shield to attach them on nano.

Is there any customizable firmware for drones anywhere or I need to customize any firmware I can find on net?

Why Mosfets and diodes?
Yes, there are open-source multicopter projects using an arduino. But it's a lot more fun to write your own. :slight_smile:

lg, couka

Mosfets and diodes for drive to coreless motors :slight_smile:
I know it's fun to write it myself but I mean that for my first micro droid it will just fly with a joystick, I'm planning to have fun while writing code of drone has auto pilot option :slight_smile: