Possible Improvements

While we met our goal of creating a quadcopter that can hover above ground, there are a number of ways we would have liked to improve our quadcopter further.  This page will details these considerations in hopes that it will benefit future groups.

Installation of Landing Skids

Landing skids

In the current design, the legs are part of the arm structure which makes it easy to disassemble and replace. However, this also makes the entire structure very low to the ground and causes the craft to be subjected to a lot of ground effects during landing and takeoff. One idea is to install a landing skids on the base plate which would make landing and takeoff of the craft much easier.

Sonar Sensor For Takeoff & Landing

Sonar sensor

Controlling the height of the quadcopter is one of the hardest things to do manually. This is because the adjustments are done in set increments which makes finer adjustments very difficult. It would be better to have a PID controller to determine the height based on the readings obtained from a sensor mounted on the bottom of the craft. All the user has to do is set a desired height and the craft should be at.

Uno Microcontroller

One of the problems we encountered using the Arduino Uno was its limited capacity in terms of the number of hardware pins and timers. On the Uno, the ATMega PWM pins that could be used for the motors conflict with the radio pins. While the issue was resolved by using software PWM, which is not as accurate, a microcontroller with additional timers and fast-pwm pins would be much more efficient in terms of clock cycles.. The Seeeduino also provides a faster processor, meaning sensor data could be processed more quickly.

Use RC Copter Remote Control

Using the Logitech gamepad to control a real quadcopter is actually very difficult due to the limited range of the control sticks. Therefore, slight movements on the gamepad’s joysticks can lead to large adjustments of the copter’s flight path. We tried to mitigate this issue by using software to soften controller adjustments. However, this could cause problems if any quick copter adjustments were required. Using a proper RC helicopter controller, the pilot has a greater range of motion with the joysticks to make small or large adjustments as necessary.