Contra ball drone

A thrown ball-shaped aerial drone with unique swinging blades.

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This is pretty nuts, part of me thinks it is a waste of time in the sense of not being practical useful but another part of me wants to make it because it is cool.

I haven't simplified the design enough yet... so I tinker with it from time to time.

The concept is using the gyroscope of the 9-axis accelerometer, the tumbling-airborne drone can tell which way is "up" so to speak that is which way is the opposite of gravity. Knowing that, the neutral-blades will engage positive pitch opposite of gravity to start flying.

It should be simple like a drill, where the battery is hemisphere, that simply slides onto the other half which contains the majority of the sensors/electronics/payload/swashplate/motor.

It does seem like a gimmick but the ultimate gimmick is a muscle-memory-wire-gel-blade design which uses embedded muscle-memory-wire to change the pitch of the blades through induction swashplate... as opposed to mechanical linkages but that's pretty insan

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Max Noble wrote 03/18/2020 at 01:00 point

Such a rad project, how's it coming?

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Jacob David C Cunningham wrote 03/18/2020 at 01:09 point

This project has stalled, I don't know maybe indefinitely? My life took a different direction(went into software) so I haven't done much flying/haven't had an interest to build stuff like this. This thing is also stupidly complicated for no real benefit and it's dangerous. You can electronically break propellers with the ESC but I don't know how well that would work in this application regarding wear/tear and how safe it is for you "to just catch it".

It is neat though, regarding the challenges involved with programming/direction/physics like working with an IMU. I'm still a high-level guy so some Arduino is the lowest I've gotten. Python would be next closest thing. But yeah and I have a 3D printer now/can design but would need to work out the safety of those blades how big the hubs have to be so they don't separate/be a hazard.

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Jarrett wrote 02/22/2016 at 18:24 point

Definitely insan. Those are the Best Projects.

Magnetism using custom wound coils in a clever configuration might be better/faster/more reliable than memory wire for tilting your rotors, though. Maybe, maybe not. I haven't done the math or anything.

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Jacob David C Cunningham wrote 02/22/2016 at 22:06 point

Thanks for your input. 

My concern was the constant load. A servo has the gears like a hydraulic, where you leave it in that position and it takes some force to move it eg. drag from the air. But a current based pitch control may use a lot of power. 

Also the induction coilwash-plate would need to operate at two different levels. A low and a high. One for signal/positioning and the other to actually maintain the pitch of the blade. 

The concern is the rotating speed, cross section of the coils/number of winds and the capacitors on the individual micontrollers(for maintaining power when the coils aren't directly over each other) on each blade to respond fast enough as the blades rotate over the stationary control piece. Hence I tried to go for mechanical linkages initially.

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PointyOintment wrote 09/17/2018 at 05:29 point

I agree that muscle wire is probably way too slow. You should look at the underactuated helicopter rotor that came out of some university or other a couple of years ago. It uses the same motor that drives the rotor to control the cyclic pitch, using speed variations and angled hinges. The blog had a post on it, IIRC.

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