Make Your Own Gadget: From Idea To Reality

The Birth of an Idea

William came up with the idea for his tri-copter while on vacation, relaxing on a sunny beach in southern France (seriously, no joke). He knew of similar projects, particularly quad-copter designs, but he didn't want his design to be influenced in any way by previous projects, making his stay in France the perfect opportunity to create his original concept, jotting down rough plans and designs in a simple notebook.

He started with simple drawings of a frame, modifying it repeatedly as he came up with more features and better designs, ultimately settling on his unique three-rotor layout. From there, he took to creating a flow chart for his main control loop, which is a technical term referring to what is essentially the brain of the system. It is responsible for everything from interpreting remote inputs to automated stability control.

Because William had no experience with microcontrollers or programming, creating the control loop was the most challenging part of the project, but after returning home, he was able to find some help from friendly people on various forums and IRC channels. He even managed to find a friend with experience building microcontroller-based copters.

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  • s4fun
    How soon before we get manhacks running around everywhere? Darn where did I drop that the crowbar again....
    2
  • mlopinto2k1
    That thing is no joke! Props to that guy!
    2
  • quantumrand
    mlopinto2k1That thing is no joke! Props to that guy!


    Haha, "props" good one ;)
    0
  • frazik
    DAMN i hope he patents this thing,,, hes just invented something the US air force has been trying to do for years! -- fast , highly mobile helicopters with excellent hovering capabilities.
    0
  • quantumrand
    frazikDAMN i hope he patents this thing,,, hes just invented something the US air force has been trying to do for years! -- fast , highly mobile helicopters with excellent hovering capabilities.


    He could patent it, but I think he's more interested in the concept of free exchange. You can pretty much find all of the information you'd need, including blueprints and source codes to build your own tri-copter right on his blog.
    0
  • hardcore_gamer
    *thumbs up* dude =D
    0
  • martyn
    Real something, not easy part to balance and stabilise whole thing. My hat! I will love to gev it a try my self. Using William's article as starting point...
    A new hobby is born?
    :P)
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  • Anonymous
    Whoa... Cool...
    0