NAVI - "Hey, listen!"

Pocket Sized, 3d Printable, Coaxial Scout Drone

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Navigational Aerial Vehicle Imager, or NAVI for short, is a coaxial, pocket sized (well, I have rather large pockets. Exact dimensions are 200x80mm), 3d printable UAS, that is designed to be cheap, modular, rapidly deployable, and most importantly, extremely portable. It only uses a cyclic swashplate system, rather than cyclic and pitch. This simplifies the mechanism greatly, and allows for a much smaller size. Altitude and yaw control is achieved through varying the RPM of the motors, just like your average multirotor.
The uses range from SAR operations, to battlefield scouting, to just every day aerial videography/photography, in a much smaller package.

This is being submitted to the Build Something That Matters challenge.

I originally started building 'drones' about 4 and a half years ago, before they were called drones. Autonomous platforms that carry cameras and have a lot of practical use, compared to your usual model aircraft.

Since then, I've always had this thing about trying to make them very small, and very portable. First I started with a folding quad that was still rather large and heavy, but it all fit more or less into a single backpack.

Then I started working on the Maviclone, late last year. As the name implies, it took a fair bit of inspiration from the DJI Mavic Pro.

There were other projects along the way, but these are the most notable, showing major progression in making things smaller and lighter.

And now, NAVI. NAVI is something completely different. No arms to fold out, no bolts to tighten in order to lock said arms in place. You dont need to place it on the ground in order to initialize and take off.

You pull NAVI out of your pocket, hold it in the air, and hit the take off button. Thats it. To retrieve it, you do the inverse. Its simple, its small, and its fast. All traits that are extremely desirable for a search and rescue volunteer, who doesnt want to carry anymore gear than necessary.

Assembled 4-30-2017.123dx

These are NAVI's 123D Design files as of April 30th 2017. They have not been flight tested and it is not yet recommended to print them. I will update with flight proven designs at a later date.

123dx - 2.50 MB - 05/01/2017 at 03:27


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  • More work done, more to do!

    Glytch3 hours ago 0 comments

    I have 3D printed a good majority of the parts, have gone back and tweaked them, and reprinted more. I've started assembly as well, and am aiming for a flight test the first week of May, sans the outer shell. I've uploaded the files as they are now, however I would discourage you from printing them, as almost any are subject to change prior to the test flight. Feel free to dig around and make suggestions however :)

    Below are pictures of both the partially assembled NAVI MK1, as well as the CAD renders as they currently sit.

  • Water Bottle Sized

    Glytch04/18/2017 at 19:36 0 comments

    I have been working more on getting NAVI's parts printed and assembled. This is a rather tedious build, with lots of small tweaks that need to be made, so most of the work isnt worth writing a log about, but I'm definitely still working on NAVI! Here's a more recent image (however not indicative of its current progress) of NAVI, compared to a tape measure and average 28oz double wall water bottle.

    You can also see the NCR18650B cell-based 4s pack I'm putting together to power this bird.

    Anyways, just a quick little update. Hoping for a test flight this weekend :)

  • Starting 3D Printing and Assembly

    Glytch04/11/2017 at 19:24 0 comments

    I've uploaded a Part 1 video on printing and assembly of NAVI. I've also decided to change my initial plan of using Black Widow 1200kv motors, instead opting for 920kv motors and external ESCs (they are however round, and the diameter of the motor, so I will make a custom adapter to mount them as if they were integrated,maximizing use of available space.)

    I've also gone through and designed 3d printable gears that thread onto the motor's shaft as if it were a standard prop, and will be testing those. If those dont hold up well, I'll either switch to a belt drive, or have the gears printed in metal or SLS nylon through shapeways.

    Just waiting on black ABS filament to show up, to be able to print the rest of the bits :)


    Glytch04/11/2017 at 19:21 0 comments

    I have been working a bit more on NAVI's CAD. The details arent too terribly interesting, and are just minor mechanical things. Here are some updated images. I will be ordering the motors (Using 2208 1200kv Black Widows with integrated ESCs), batteries (Going with a custom 18650 cell based pack, using NCR18650GA cells in a 3s assembly. Using these over LiPo as they can source the needed current and have a higher energy density.) the carbon fiber tube, bearings, and some other bits in the next day or two. Once those arrive, things get interesting :) I intend to do a video on putting NAVI together, or at the very least, there will be images of its assembly. This has been a fun challenge thus far, and should continue to prove interesting :) Thanks for all the love and support, heres to getting NAVI flying in under 2 weeks time, just in time for a family barbecue! :)

    There are still some more things to be designed/addressed, such as the motor mount, however they are pretty trivial. Just need to get the motors in hand for precise measurements.

    So far I have been able to maintain my 200mm length, 80mm diameter goals. Hoping I can keep it that way :)

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lukasgdanietz wrote 04/12/2017 at 23:27 point

I hope you keep on going with this proyect, i find it very interesting. Lets see where this interesting proyect ends. Good luck

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