Project in progress
Helios - Autonomous Quadcopter Based on Arduino

Helios - Autonomous Quadcopter Based on Arduino © GPL3+

Originally designed in 2015, this is the revival of Helios. Centered around the CC3D and Arduino, this quad rocks!

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Components and supplies

Necessary tools and machines

3drag
3D Printer (generic)

About this project

This is a work in progress. I will continue to update this page regularly as I make progress. As a senior in high school, Drew, Jason, and I built a quadcopter named Helios. After several years, I have decided to revisit this project and share what we've learned with this amazing community!

Please feel free to comment below with questions or suggestions! If you want to get involved, please reach out! I'd love any help I could get. Also, check out my YouTube page or website to stay updated. Links below and in bio!

Website

YouTube

Signup for our email newsletter to receive project updates and support Project Apollo, our educational robotics kit!

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Original Documentation (From 2014 - 2015)

Final Presentation

Our final presentation, showing the culmination of a year's work! This has a lot of great insights into drone development, Arduino, Android, and Bluetooth!

Helios' First Crash!

After a few months of research on components needed to fly and looking into different flight controllers and control methods, we decided to use an OpenPilot CC3D flight controller, paired with an Arduino Mega. The Arduino can emulate PWM waves from a typical transmitter/receiver pair. For testing, we added functionality to an Android app that would control thrust, roll, pitch, and yaw values.

Single Axis Stabilization and Attitude Control

By adjusting values (via the app or OpenPilot software), we can see the incredible precision of the quad, especially it's ability to hold a position. I tried pulling pretty hard in the video above, and it barely budged!

Bluetooth, Arduino, and Android Controlled Flight

In this video, we tested our Android app which communicates with the Arduino via a HC-06 BT module. The Arduino then emulates the PWM signals a RC receiver would normally send to the flight controller. At this point, this system replaces a RC transmitter/receiver pair. Nothing amazing, but what is essential is this opens the door for other functionality on the app or arduino side including sensor integration, waypoint based flight, or livestreaming data.

Code

GitHub Repo
Check out all code referenced in the project here!

Custom parts and enclosures

Helios - Assembled
Final render of Helios as of May 2015. This version was created as a second prototype using laser cutting and 3D printing.
Render jb1xuhge5j

Schematics

ESC Connections
Image showing connection of ESC to quadcopter arm.
Armondesk nlcdhu8jsm

Comments

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