This year, we are planning to create a UAV.
A UAV is an “Unmanned Aerial Vehicle” or Drone. It is essentially an aircraft that flies itself.
The UAV we are making is based on the Ardupilot Mega design from DIY Drones.
A detailed manual is available here.
We plan on modifying an existing RC plane to operate autonomously (to fly itself).
|Ardupilot Mega Board||Main controller board that contains the microcontroller||1|
|Shield||Fits on top of the main board and contains the sensors||1|
|GPS||A GPS module that connects to the main board||1|
|GPS Cable||connects the GPS to the main controller board||1|
|Servo Cables||Female-Female cables to connect the RC aircraft radio to the controller board.||~5|
|Headers||Right angle headers PWM cables to be soldered to the main controller board.||2|
The total cost is approximately $310.67.
Ardupilot Mega is the newest version of the Ardupilot platform. Among the features of this new release is the ability to add two-way telemetry to see data from the UAV and upload new instructions from a computer in flight. We may decide to add this once we get the basic aircraft working.
A Camera with a wireless downlink would be another interesting addition. We could use something like this one.
Open source hardware is “part of the open source culture movement.” As an open source project, the designs for the hardware and software for this UAV are freely available. It is not developed by a particular company. Rather, it is created and developed by the community. The Ardu- in ardupilot stands for Arduino because the Ardupilot project builds upon the development tools and microcontroller board called Arduino (see arduino.cc).