Behold, the NoodleCopter!

A colorful quadcopter, made from pool noodles.

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It started as a joke, but flies surprisingly well and is quite pretty at night!

(note) need to add this tag if I can figure out how to edit the tag section: 2015HACKADAYPRIZE (end note)

Here’s a quadcopter that I designed and built in response to a CrashCast challenge to build a flyable quadcopter as cheap and as sturdy as possible.

From a construction standpoint multicopters are interesting because (unlike helicopters) they have no moving parts and (unlike airplanes) do not depend on an aerodynamic body to fly. As a result, we see multicopters made from a wide variety of materials and construction techniques.

I had seen photos of a pool noodle unit previously and wanted to try one for myself for a couple of reasons:

  • Pool noodles are cheap.
  • It would be a good training unit when friends wanted to try flying. I can’t imagine much you can to do break a pool noodle!
  • It would be highly visible. My main quadcopter has really thin arms and is hard to see at a distance.
  • It would be easy to light up for night and evening flying.
  • I wanted to see how simply a working frame could be built. For example, the motors are simply taped to the frame.
  • Let’s face it, it’s just funny to think of flying pool noodles!

In keeping with the spirit of a pool noodle quadcopter, I wanted the construction to be as simple as possible (for example, the motors are taped onto the arms). I bodged it together in an evening with materials that were at hand. While originally done as an experiment in minimal design and construction, I was happy enough with the results that I fly it regularly and use it as a trainer when somebody wants to try flying.

It's actually quite pretty in the air!

  • 3 × Pool Noodles
  • 4 × Motors, Powerdrive 2830, 900 kvm
  • 4 × Props, SPC 10x4.7
  • 4 × ESC, 30A
  • 1 × Flight Control Board (e.g. MultiWii or ArduPilot Mega)

View all 9 components

  • 1
    Step 1

    Here's the NoodleCopter flying around at night.

  • 2
    Step 2

    Cut the arms to length

    Cut 4 pieces to 15.5 inches, and one piece to 5.5 inches. The four pieces will be the front and back (yellow in the picture), green (left and side arms. The small piece will be the battery mount.

  • 3
    Step 3

    Trim the side arms

View all 9 instructions

Enjoy this project?



dewayneshorts wrote 08/20/2015 at 23:06 point

What's your battery and flight time? have you tried float test?

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leandro wrote 07/08/2015 at 22:43 point

This is one of those things that i say "How in hell didn't i think of that?".

Cheap, simple and easy..


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