Sunday, 11 May 2014

Hi all,

It will be my turn (Leonard) to update the blog.
These are the updates for the project so far.

At last, the carbon fiber plates have arrived on tuesday 6/05/2014. The long wait has been over. Now, it is time to construct our very own quadrojak.  All the components that are required for the construction, have been placed on the table so that it will be much easier for the rest of the members to build the structure. Looking from figure 1, the four longer carbon fiber tubes will be used and be mounted on the quadrojak structure. They are used to provide mounting for the crash cage that will be constructed at a later time
Figure1: Components For Construction Of Quadrojak

The four big motors will be used for the rotation of the propellers. Each of them will be placed at the end of each support arm of the quadrojak.

Figure2: Motors To Be Used
 For the construction of the quadrojak, the system engineer aka Angus, the control engineer aka Jonathan Daryl and the structural engineer aka Edwin were all involved. Working hand in hand together, they have to ensure that the wirings for the control system are connected correctly, the carbon fiber tubes are tightened into position, the parts of the structures are joined appropriately. Here are some pictures  of the construction process.

 After a tiring day working on the quadrojak, with a big smiles on their faces, they are happy with the final product of the quadrojak.

Figure3: Final Product Of Quadrojak
Even though the main structure of the rojak has been completed, they have to test out on the control system to see if the motors are able to be powered up so that they can allow the propellers to rotate. This is the result that is shown in the video after they have test out on their control system. Note that in the video, the bottom part of the crash cage has been built unto the quadrojak's structure.  

Hearing from the sounds of the motors that are being generated, it should be fast enough to provide the right amount of thrust to lift up the system.The construction of the whole crash cage is not complete yet so the bottom part of the crash cage will be removed from the quadrojak first. In order to protect the propellers of the quadrojak during flight testing, a PVC tubing structure was being constructed around the quadrojak.

Figure4: Quadrojak With PVC Tubing Structure

Any advancements such as flight testings will be postponed to a later date as we will be focusing on their individual report, presentation and poster for FYP submission. After the FYP submission, we will also be preparing for their exams. Do look forward to hear from us very soon when everything is completed. Thank you very much!

Feel free to give any comment or feedback

Friday, 25 April 2014

Its the last week of our 4 weeks of Easter break! This is Edwin giving an update of past week's progress:

The latest news on the carbon fibre plates for our quadcopter mainframe is that delivery will be delayed for yet another week (WHAT!? *&#%@$*!!!). But its ok. Good stuff are worth waiting for.

Angus and I were instructed to build a simple protective structure for our Quadcopter. I proposed to use PVC pipes (those that they use for water plumbing) instead of carbon rods because their fittings are readily available. This cage took me slightly more than 1 hour to build, and it is HUGE! (see figure below)

It measures 1.25 metres in width. Thankfully the pipe's OD fits the carbon fibre tube's ID (18 mm), so installation and fitting is easy. The only disadvantage is its heavy weight. I'm planning to drill a lot of holes on the pipes to reduce its weight. It is meant to reduce impact during crash (to protect propeller/motor and external objects), thus as long as its rigid enough to hold its shape, the number holes on the pipes should not matter. The cage is built elevated to the same level as the propeller (see Figure below).

Still on the subject of cage, Bing Zhi has been making progress with his prototype fabrication. Due to budget constraints, he is planning to downsize and use 12 mm diameter carbon (longitudinal direction) rods to build his prototype. It should take at least another week for him get the raw materials and build it before we get to see the real physical cage. The figures below shows his customised part (3-D printed). It will be used to connect the big cage onto carbon fibre tubes that are attached onto the Quadcopter's centre frame.

Another cage we've been experimenting and testing is Leonard's terrestrial drive cage. He has been trying to assemble everything together for the past 2-3 weeks (God knows how much time he spent 3-D printing the modular parts). Land movement wise, it was quite successful. JD managed to control and get it moving easily (see picture below). Angus was so excited he wanted to try flying it straight away. However, there were some difficulty in flying due to the lack of rigidity in the printed parts.

Nevertheless, we can say it achieved the primary objective of  rolling on the ground with the small Quadcopter. Here is another picture of the cage (slightly reinforced with styrofoam).

(Yeah it was dark; this picture was taken quite late. You can see how hardworking our guys were!)

Jeremy has been working on programming for his battery loader. The electronics stuff have been bought. All he needs to do now is to fix everything together and make it to work! (see figure below).

We all have 3 reports to be submitted in the coming week and everyone is working extra/double/triple/very hard for officially the last month of our University student life. It has been a long (and sometimes agonising) wait to see our final product. But i strongly urge everyone to stay tuned and be patient. Like what I've mentioned, good stuff are worth waiting for! We will make our Quadcopter fly with everything else working!

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Progress update!

Hi Happy Easter everyone!

Anyway JD here updating the blog again, well I've got a lot to update you guys about our progress these past 2 weeks!

Basically we've got our finally long awaited batteries!

 The monstrous battery for our quad copter, and that means, Angus and me can test out our motors and propellers and see how fast it can go!

As seen above the powerful battery powering up our motor and propeller. If you were there you can feel the vibrations and thrust that it created, it's quite scary that's why we also included a test cage to test it out.

And another thing is that for me the control system designer, I've been testing out the flight for the small quad copter to test out the functions of the Futaba controller as well as the Arduino Pilot Mega 2.6 with mission planner, you can see the videos below showing me testing the landing function of the Quad and also the Loiter mode, where it locked the GPS position and it refuses to move when its being dragged out.

*edit the loiter video I cant seem to upload it but here's the link =) Loiter

And for the the terrestrial drive by leonard here's a sneak preview on our small quadcopter (with jurassic park theme in the background)!

And for the structure of our quadcopter we have a few small additional stuffs for protecting the motor, our distribution board and etc.
The 3D printer building the motor protection cage

the motor protection cage

Cable holders

Distribution board holder

Another distribution board holder

And here's a quick sneak peak on how powerful our motor without the propeller, being tested out after I finally configure the ESC with the APM, which took me a few days to troubleshoot! (that's explain the evil laughter... sorry too excited...)

Last but not least here's Jeremy with his battery loader concept taking shape!!
Let's see in a few weeks time everything will be integrated into one system and we will be able to show off each and everyone's effort to fly the quadcopter successfully!

Anyway cheers guys! Hope you guys have an awesome long weekend! Stay tuned for our next update and hopefully we will assemble the big quad and you can see it fly!!!

Signing of JD =D

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Hello all!

This post is an short update on what we did.

We had a career fair where there was an opportunity to display the project.

The posters are samples of some of the group members' posters (Bing Zhi & Jeremy)
If you would like to see the rest do leave a comment.

Many people took an interest in the project. It was a good opportunity to give out resumes as well as explain to potential employers on the scope of the project.

We hope you enjoyed this short update.

Have a good day!

Monday, 31 March 2014

Week 9, prototype in progress

This is the Week 9, where the project is due on the 16th weeks, 5 more weeks!!!!

This week,  we would like to focus on the quadrotor and the programming parts itself.

The structure of the quadrotor is made of acrylic, a mock prototype. so as to test the fitting of different parts and components provided by the controls.

 This 4 insane motor is not light in weight, but has the torque to lift the whole copter, but now the copter is estimated to be 5kg. Too heavy....

Well, for the control parts, this is what jonathan daryl has in his parts.

Installing the new APM 2.6 microprocessorBefore APM 2.6 was installed the previous micro-processor was DJI NAZAWith the new micro-processor installed and hooking it up with new GPS and a new power module, we have our “improved” Quad copter!   

Programming and Configuring Futaba Controller
With the current setup, the futaba controller is re-configure with 12-chn interface
The video is attached on the folder
Unfortunately we haven’t able to fly this quad copter yet, as one of the motor is damaged 
and we are waiting for a the new one
But as seen on the video each motor can turn and should be able to fly when the 
propellers are attached on them

Autonomous control
Introducing the parts that we are going to use, the Xbee
Both units are able to communicate with each other and one will act as 
the transceiver, sending data from the land control station, and the receiver that is 
on the quad copter itself.
Things to take note, autonomous flight is not allowed in certain countries and you 
need to seek clearance from government authorities, for this school project we will not
fly the quad copter outside of our intended work space area.

Here I have attach a video on the DJI copter, please enjoy!!! woooooohooooo 

Preparing to test the quadrotor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

This is a protective cage that we will use to test the propeller speed

that's all for this week, next week will be more exciting~~~ cheers! 

Sunday, 23 March 2014

And the build being...

We are all getting bored of the paper works, equations and theories. Finally moving on from paper warriors to the fabrication of Quad Rojak. Before anything tangible can happen, there are a little more paper works to be conquered. While waiting the the shipment of raw materials, we should proudly present to you our concepts through the posters 

From the System Level Design (SysLeD), Angus, my point of view. The parameters of Quad Rojak had been established after numerous experiment with in house design and 3D printed equipments.

Figure 43: System design of quad copter

From the Control System Design, JD, point of view. The configuration and programming of the Microprocessor and Electronic speed controller had also been decided. Meanwhile, JD will use his understanding of the new Microprocessor and attempt to fly the existing quad copter Flame Wheel 450 (the one we disassemble during the first week).
Figure 44:Control system Design of quad copter

Up next we have Edwin Goh who is in charge of the structure. Material selected are mainly carbon fiber and some aluminium. We knew that Edwin had made the right choice for material when he mentioned that it was harder to cut carbon fiber rod than metal rod. Before making any major decision in the detail design Edwin intended to use acrylic and 3D printing to build our first Quad Rojak prototype.
Figure 45: Sawing of carbon fiber rod

Figure 45: Some standard components, carbon fiber rods and 3D printed parts

Figure 46: Structure design of quad copter

Jeremy Yeo the Battery loader designer. After tremendous effort and time spending on researching, computer aided design (CAD) software and 3D printing Jeremy was finally able to come out with all the require components down to the smallest details (number of teeth in the rack and pinion).
Figure 47: Battery loader design for quad copter

It is now Wong B.Z turn, he who is in charge of crash protection cage.The material chosen is also mainly carbon fiber and some rubber for connections purposes. Anyone must know that with more protection it is going to weight more on Quad Rojak. Therefore for now, B.Z is still trying to find a balance between protection and weight before the fabrication of crash protection cage can being.
Figure 48: Robust crash cage design for quad copter

Finally, we have Leonard our terrestrial drive designer. After much discussion with the team, Leonard had decided to change some design features of the current Terrestrial Drive. A very exciting prototype to look forward to, stay tuned folk. 

Figure 48: Robust crash cage design for quad copter

Special Thanks to Jeremy Yeo and Daniel Ng Chi Koon for preparing Spaghetti for the class this week. It was out of goodwill seeing how hard we work for the Quad copter project Jeremy Yeo decided that he should encourage us with home cooked food. Such group mate, heart warming.


Sunday, 16 March 2014

Hi all!
Leonard here. I will be updating the blog for this week.
At the start of week 7,we continued to work on our finalised concepts, making the required changes accordingly and drew the appropriate engineering drawings.

First off, we have Angus,
With confirmation of appropriate calculations for motor selection, he proceeded to purchase one motor. As the new motor has been collected, further experiments were being conducted for testing.

Figure 31: New motor

Fiqure 32: Motor mounted with Propeller

Figure 33: Conduct of experiment

After determining the appropriate motor for the quadrotor, Edwin proceeds to make changes to the main frame of the quadrotor. By working with the dimensions of the motor, changes have been made to the main frame so that the motor can be mounted properly. The main frame of the quadrotor consist of four pieces of carbon fiber cylindrical rods being clamped into position. Each of the rod has a mounting platform that allow the motor to sit into position. The following pictures show the proper mounting of the motors.

Figure 34: Mounting platform for motor

Figure 35: Clamping of cylindrical rods

Figure 36: Cylindrial rods with mounting platforms

Figure 37: Mounting of motors with propellers

By obtaining the appropriate details of the main frame, Both Bing Zhi and I have to work on our concepts based on the given length constraints.

For Bing Zhi, he created a crash proof structure that has been improved. The whole structure is made out of carbon fiber cylindrical rods. As the structure consists of many individual parts that need to be connected together, different kind of connectors are bing used to connect a part to another part. The following CAD drawing shows the actual structure.

Figure 38: CAD drawing of crash proof structure

As for my latest concept of the terrestrial drive system, the design is inspired from a bicycle's wheel. At the bicycle's wheel, a wheel hub that consists of bearings is connected to main wheel. The wheel hub enable full rotation of the wheel when it is connected to the main frame of bicycle.

The two wheels act as travelling mechanism. Four cylindrical rods are used to provide support and stiffnes to the structure. A bearing system is placed at the center of each wheel. By placing two shafts that will be fixed to the quadrotor main frame, the bearing systems allows the wheels to rotate. The structure will be built around the quadrotor with shafts connected to the center of the quadrotor.

Figure 39: CAD drawing for terrestrial drive system

Figure 40: Quadcopter with terrestrial drive system

As Jeremy has to create a interchangeable battery system for the quadrotor, his concept is to create a sliding tray for the battery pack to rest on. The sliding tray will be dependent on a rack and pinion actuator located at the bottom of the interchangeable battery system. The structure is designed in a manner that allows the quadcopter to fly in and land into position so that the battery can be replaced easily

Figure 41: Top view of system

Figure 42: Bottom view of system

These are the updates for this week. Feel free to comment below.