Building Your Own Drones VitalSource eText: A Beginners' Guide to Drones, UAVs, and ROVs : 9780134000152

Building Your Own Drones VitalSource eText: A Beginners' Guide to Drones, UAVs, and ROVs

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Pearson Higher Ed USA
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About the book

Drones are the newest frontier for the DIY/maker community, and this book is a gentle introduction for those not an expert in electronics or programming. Building Your Own Drones takes students through ten complete projects. This lush, 4-color guide is loaded with step-by-step photos that guide readers every step of the way. More challenging concepts are then explained in plain English in detailed sidebars.


Table of contents
Introduction xiii
Who This Book Is For xiii
How This Book Is Organized xiii

Chapter 1 A History of Drones 1
What Is a Drone? 2
Three Terrrains 3
Anatomy of a Drone 5
Summary 7

Chapter 2 Showcase of Cool DIY Drones 9
Bicycle Rim Quadcopter 9
3D-Printed Mini Quadcopter 9
Clothesline Racer 11
Vessels 11
Radio-Controlled Blimp 12
FPV Quadcopter 12
Open RC Trike 14
Foldable Quadcopter 14
Mini-Quadcopter 15
3D-Printed RC Boat 16
Tricopter 17
Mecanum Wheel Rover 18
Summary 19

Chapter 3 Overview of Commercial Drones and Kits 21
Parallax ELEV-8 Quadcopter 21
DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ 24
OpenROV 26
Actobotics Nomad 29
Brooklyn Aerodrome Flack 31
Summary 34

Chapter 4 Building a Quadcopter I: Choosing an Airframe 35
Which Airframe? 35
Choosing Between Commercial Options 37
Making Your Own Airframe 38
Project #1: MakerBeam Airframe 41
MakerBeam 41
Parts 43
Steps 44
Summary 50

Chapter 5 Rocket Drone Project 51
Amateur Model Rocketry 51
Quick-and-Dirty Arduino Guide 54
Project #2: Data-Gathering Rocket 60
Parts for Building the Data-Gathering Rocket 60
Steps for Building the Data-Gathering Rocket 61
Programming the Payload 65
Summary 67

Chapter 6 Building a Quadcopter II: Motors and Props 69
Choose Your Motors 70
Outrunner Versus Inrunner 70
Brushed Versus Brushless 71
AC Versus DC 72
Choose Your Propellers 73
Prop Adapters 74
Project #3: Attach the Props and Motors 75
Parts 76
Steps for Attaching the Props and Motors 77
Summary 80

Chapter 7 Blimp Drone Project 81
Radio Control 81
Transmitters 82
Receivers 83
ESC (Electronic Speed Controller) 83
Project #4: Blimp Drone 84
Parts 85
Arduino Parts 86
Steps 86
Autonomous Control with an Arduino 99
Code 100
Summary 102

Chapter 8 Building a Quadcopter III: Flight Control 103
Know Your ESCs 103
Common ESCs 105
Programming ESCs 106
Receiver 109
Flight Controller 110
Flight Controller Examples 111
Installing the Flight Electronics 114
Parts 114
Installing the ESCs 114
Installing the Flight Controller 114
Installing the Receiver 116
Summary 116

Chapter 9 Drone Builder’s Workbench 117
Design It 117
Drive It 118
Measure It 120
Cut It 120
Wire It 121
Attach It 123
CNC It 124
Summary 126

Chapter 10 Building a Quadcopter IV: Power Systems 127
Choosing a Battery 128
Battery Types 128
Adding Bullet Connectors 130
Why Bullet Connectors? 130
Parts List 130
Steps for Adding Bullet Connectors 131
Assembling the Wiring Harness 137
Parts 138
Steps for Assembling the Wiring Harness 138
Wiring the Flight Controller and Receiver 143
Summary 145

Chapter 11 Waterborne Drone Project 147
Realities of Waterborne Electronics 148
Disadvantages of Waterborne Electronics 148
Advantages of Waterborne Electronics 148
Waterproofing Your Electronics 149
Sandwich Container 150
Pelican 1000-Series 151
Sealing a Tube 152
XBee Mesh Networking 153
Project: Soda Bottle Boat 154
Parts 155
Building the Drone 156
Building the Controller 166
Programming the Soda Bottle Boat 170
Summary 172

Chapter 12 Building a Quadcopter V: Accessories 173
Add Accessories to Your Quadcopter 174
Camera 174
First-Person Video (FPV) 175
Landing Gear 176
Parachute 176
Protective Plate or Dome 177
Prop Guards 178
Project: Adding Accessories to the Quadcopter 179
Install the Camera Mount 180
Install the Landing Gear 184
Install the Top Plate 186
Summary 189

Chapter 13 Making a Rover 191
Advantages and Disadvantages of Rovers 192
Advantages of Rovers 192
Disadvantages of Rovers 192
Chassis Options 193
3D Printed 193
Tamiya 194
mBot 194
Arduino Robot 195
Actobotics Bogie 196
Navigating with Radio Frequency Identification Tags 197
Project: RFID-Navigating Rover 199
Parts 200
Steps 200
Programming the RFID-Navigating Rover 217
Summary 220

Chapter 14 Building a Quadcopter VI: Software 221
Flight Control Software 222
OpenPilot 222
MultiWii 223
APM Planner 2.0 223
eMotion 224
AR.Freeflight 224
3DR Solo App 226
Configuring the MultiWii 226
Examining the MultiWii Control Sketch 228
Pre-Flight Checklist 229
Summary 230

Glossary 231

Index 237
Author biography
John Baichtal has written or edited over a dozen books, including the award-winning Cult of LEGO (No Starch Press, 2011), LEGO hacker bible Make: LEGO and Arduino Projects (Maker Media, 2012) with Adam Wolf and Matthew Beckler, Robot Builder (Que, 2014), and Basic Robot Building with LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 (Que, 2012). His most recent book is Maker Pro (Maker Media, 2014), a collection of essays and interviews describing life as a professional maker. John lives in Minneapolis with his wife and three children.
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