Quadcopters or Multicopters as you might have heard are some of the most fascinating things nowadays. With every passing day, quadcopters are gaining popularity amongst people in the whole world. Multicopters are available in a variety of sizes. They can be as small as a little sparrow and can be as big as a human being itself and according to the size, there are many applications in which these multicopters can be used. They can be used for surveillance, Weather monitoring, supplying goods, sprinkling fertilizers in farms, video recording, and whatnot. This variety of applications of the multicopters have made them so popular that people from every type of region, whether rural or urban. People want to have their own quadcopter, and many people want to make them on their own. So here we are with a three-part tutorial on How to make a Quadcopter of your own. The main parts of a Quadcopter are readily available in the market but their costs are very high. So we are going to make those parts by ourselves and assemble them to make a complete working drone of our own.
In this part of the tutorial, we are going to make the Flight Controller of our Drone. Our Flight Controller will be based on Arduino which will be connected to 3 Axis Gyroscope and Accelerometer Sensor and will be programmed to operate as the flight controller. We will use a simulation Software named Multiwii to calibrate and test the working of our flight controller. The code that we are going to upload is also made available to us by multiwii. This is going to be a simple task and I am sure that you will love it. So let's move to the fun part.
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What Is a Flight Controller?
Before we start making the flight Controller we need to know that what a flight controller is and what is its importance in the working of a quadcopter. So as its name suggests, a flight controller is something that controls the flight of a Quadcopter. It is programmed and calibrated in such a manner that it adjusts the speed of motors according to the position and orientation of the Quadcopter to help them maintain a stable flight. A Flight Controller is like the brain of the Quadcopter as it controls almost all the important features of its flight. It is the flight controller that collects the signals received by the RF receiver sent by the Transmitter in our hand and after collecting those signals it sends the signal to the Electronic Speed Controllers which adjusts the speed of the motors in accordance with that signal.
A flight controller is also responsible to store the flight mode of the Quadcopter and according to that flight mode, it bounds the operation of the Quadcopter. Talking about the architecture of the Flight Controller, Nearly all flight controllers have basic sensors such as Gyro (Gyroscopes) and Acc (Accelerometer). Some Flight Controllers includes more advanced sensors such as Barometer (barometric pressure sensors) and magnetometer (compass). Drone flight controllers are rapidly evolving with time and are becoming smaller, with more features integrated, and using better processors and hardware.
A Flight Controller also acts as a hub for a range of sensors and objects that can be integrated with the drone such as the GPS etc. It collects the data from them and provides a power supply to the attachments as well. As it controls the flight and orientation of the drone, that's why the positioning of the Flight Controller on the drone is also very important, it should be placed in the center of the drone and we should know about the front part of the flight controller and that of the drone because the direction of rotation of motors is decided according to that.