Macetocopter is a fully autonomous helipad in a flowerpot so it's easy to have it outside for landing, charging and loading of quadcopters.

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My girlfriend next door enjoys making small things that sends to me using her quadcopter. To avoid the risk of bad landings and automate tedious tasks like charging batteries, I must build a helipad for my window and I want it safe, small, cheap and intelligent.

I will try to put some open source components into a flowerpot easily secured to the window, to have a permanent, autonomous helipad.

The main idea is to locate the autolanding, autocharging and autoloading capabilities for quadcopters in the helipad. Not in the quadcopter so it adds no extra weigth (and you dont lose or break it).

Macetocopter is a helipad for your quadcopter and is able to autonomously manage landing, charging and loading.

I live in a small flat in a crowded city in Spain. Here the weather is fine and windows are open. "Maceta" means "flowerpot" in spanish and this helipad is mounted in a flowerpot to sit in your window and manage quadcopters coming from outside.

Macetocopter has a camera and a small board with OpenCV for autonomous landing, radio and wifi for communications, and also charging and loading capabilities. It can be plugged or run on batteries, and of course you can use more than one (in your window, your street or your neighborhood) and sync them and start creating a new social network.

For the quadcopter it is necessary to modify its landing gear so it can show the fiducial mark to be recognizable by the Macetocopter.

The modified landing gear also has electric contacts connected to battery charger so after landing on target, it begins to recharge batteries.

Other mods to the landing gears allows payload fetching and dropping. Quadcopters battery can be in the form of payload so it could leave it and take another one that is charged. So the goal is autonomous landing and takeoff with automatic battery replacement. 

Another less ambitious improvement could be making a collapsable roof to protect the system from the sun or rain. the roof is operated with a motor controlled from the computer and also has solar cells on it.

I believe this is a good approach to avoid some issues of current quadcopters while expanding its posibilities. Thanks for your interest!

  • 1 × Camera and OpenCV computer for autonomous landing
  • 1 × Wifi router
  • 1 × RC transmitter for fast communication in autonomous landing
  • 1 × Flowerpot
  • 1 × Quadcopter to modify landing gear and put a fiducial mark on it

View all 7 components

  • 1
    Step 1

    Put and connect everything into the flowerpot

  • 2
    Step 2

    Place the flowerpot in a window

  • 3
    Step 3

    Program and configure computer via wifi

View all 5 instructions

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PointyOintment wrote 08/19/2014 at 17:48 point
I never thought I'd see the phrase "helipad in a flowerpot". I'm interested to see how that develops. How is the name pronounced, though?

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jpo wrote 08/20/2014 at 16:30 point
I must admit its not a good name in english, first you have to learn to say "maceta" and then is easy... In spanish sounds like a funny word, but maybe "helipot" is better for internet english.

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