I'm new to Arduino development. I'm a programmer by trade, so that part is absolutely fine for me - the hardware side of things is a little overwhelming at the moment.
Firstly, I'd like to say that I don't normally post on forums, as I'm normally able to just find the answer by looking. This involves me spending (potentially good amounts of) money though, so I want to be sure.
I am looking to build a quadcopter, that is a helicopter with 4 independent rotors. I am able to build a frame and program the thing, but what is alluding me is what components I will need.
I have read lots of forum threads and tutorials, but none give concrete answers. The standard Arduino board only allows 2 motors as it has limited I/O (please correct me if I'm repeating wrong info here). So, how would I go about controlling 4 motors easily? I would also like some spare I/Os for other things like LEDs, sonar, etc.
I've seen the Motor shields, but do they provide enough I/Os for me to do it? Can I daisy-chain them? What about the Arduino Mega?
Also, can someone recommend motors for this sort of thing? They obviously need to be strong enough to lift the weight of this thing. I'd like substantially more power than I need too, if possible (would be nice to carry light objects).
Lastly, what about tools? Would I require a soldering kit (iron, solder reel, sponge, etc)?
Apologies if these things seem obvious, and thanks in advance.