How Coper Works

Original article was published by ankitkumar on Artificial Intelligence on Medium


Unmanned Arial Vehicle(UAV) is the simplest structure that is designed to fly by a precalculated angular velocity and upward thrust. The fun part begins with automation. This particular drone is a flying linux computer. Infact a complete implement ion of Artificial Intelligence (AI) that includes Machine Learning(ML), Computer Vision(openCV), and Internet of Things(IOT). The brain of UAV is usually a flight controller controlled by a Ground Control Station (GCS) — The remote control in your hand basically plus a laptop connected with telemetry in this case. BUT, when I put a bigger processing power above it, A Raspberry Pi, A Single Board Computer(SBC) in this case, the GCS fly with it, giving them instructions and collecting all the information without any manual intervention. NOW thats a perfect automation. 🤩🤩🤩

PYTHON + DRONEKIT + RASPBERRY PI + PIXHAWK + OPENCV + TENSORFLOW.

Drone Theory

Vertical Motion

Drones use rotors for propulsion and control. The rotor can be considered as a fan which spins the blades to push air down. All forces come in pairs, which means that as the rotor pushes down on the air, the air pushes up on the rotor. This is the basic idea behind lift, which comes down to controlling the upward and downward force. The faster the rotors spin, the greater the lift, and vice-versa. A drone or UAV can do three things in the vertical plane: hover, climb, or descend. To hover, the net thrust of the four rotors pushing the drone up must be equal to the gravitational force pulling it down. Just increase the thrust (speed) of the four rotors so that there is a non-zero upward force that is greater than the weight. After that, the thrust can be decreased a little bit but there are now three forces on the drone: weight, thrust, and air drag. So, thrusters still have to be greater than just a hover. Descending requires doing the exact opposite. Simply decrease the rotor thrust (speed) so the net force is downward.

Turning (Rotating)

Turning left

In this configuration, the red rotors are rotating counterclockwise and the green ones are rotating clockwise. With the two sets of rotors rotating in opposite directions, the total angular momentum is zero. Angular momentum is a lot like linear momentum, and you calculate it by multiplying the angular velocity by the moment of inertia. The angular momentum depends on how fast the rotors spin.

If there is no torque on the drone, then the total angular momentum must remain constant — zero in this case. The red counterclockwise rotors have a positive angular momentum and the green clockwise rotors have a negative angular momentum. I’ll assign each rotor a value of +2, +2, -2, -2, which adds up to zero.

Turning Right:

If the angular velocity of rotor 1 decreased such that now it has an angular momentum of -1 instead of -2. The total angular momentum of the drone would now be +1. So the drone rotates clockwise so that the body of the drone has an angular momentum of -1. Decreasing the spin of rotor 1 did indeed cause the drone to rotate, but it also decreased the thrust from rotor 1. Now the net upward force does not equal the gravitational force, and the drone descends because the thrust forces aren’t balanced, so the drone tips downward in the direction of rotor 1. To rotate the drone without creating all those other problems, decrease the spin of rotor 1 and 3 and increase the spin for rotors 2 and 4. The angular momentum of the rotors still doesn’t add up to zero, so the drone body must rotate. But the total force remains equal to the gravitational force and the drone continues to hover. Since the lower thrust rotors are diagonally opposite to each other, the drone can still stay balanced.

Forwards and Sideways

Since the drones are symmetrical there is not much of a difference between forwarding, backward and sideways motion. Basically a quadcopter drone is like a car where every side is the front. In order to fly forward, a forward component of thrust is needed from the rotors. Here is a side view with forces of a drone moving at a constant speed. Increase the rotation rate of rotors 3 and 4 (the rear ones) and decrease the rate of rotors 1 and 2. The total thrust force will remain equal to the weight, so the drone will stay at the same vertical level. Also, since one of the rear rotors is spinning counterclockwise and the other clockwise, the increased rotation of those rotors will still produce zero angular momentum. The same holds true for the front rotors, and so the drone does not rotate. However, the greater force in the back of the drone means it will tilt forward. Now a slight increase in thrust for all rotors will produce a net thrust force that has a component to balance the weight along with a forward motion component.

Flying Style

The flying style is very important before purchasing a drone flight controller. Since each flight controller is designed for the specific flying purpose, you must choose a one which suits your needs. There are 3 flying styles for a drone.

Cinema flying: This type of quad flight controllers serves the purpose of obtaining smooth videos. This type of flight controller has reduced flight characteristics and slow control stick rates.

Autonomous flying: A lot of flyers, especially beginners, look to fly the quadcopter without using too many controls. The autonomous drone controllers can do most of the work for you with its auto programmed feature. Eg, auto take-off, auto landing, one-click return home, etc.

Sports flying: Sports flying is the most advanced flying style and liked by most of the experienced users. In this mode, you have to make quick changes during flight and you would have to vary between very aggressive and very passive maneuvers. This type of flying helps you to do fast roll rates, 360 degree flips, hold a particular angle, etc. This is why a sports quadcopter flight controller is lovable by pro users.

Using a Computer

A type of computer control system which can simply push a joystick can be handled by a computer. Just as we are using a flight controller like Pixhawk and Arducopter in between. An accelerometer and gyroscope in the drone can further increase the ease and stability of flight by making minute adjustments in the power to each rotor. A GPS system can be added to get rid of the human entirely.

Building your own quadcopter (Hardware).

Introducing Vayu / YU / वायु is an educational purpose Artificial Intelligence (AI) based hexacopter created for research of drone for Indian Scenerios. YU is self made hexacopter for learners — skilled from beginners to advance level drone makers and enthusiasts, interested in both Hardware & Software side of development. The hardware side includes Electronics Components and Software side includes including Data Science (DS) / Machine Learning (ML) / Internet of Things(IoT) and Computer Vision(CV).

A lot of people who have come across my instagram handle, have been asking me question regarding the making of a drone. So, In my blog today, I will take you for a rollar-coster ride about how you make your own copter with all the Components available in the market today and play with it. All your questions have been summed-up here and you can always connect with me on my instagram.

Follow & Fork my GitHub page to get updated information about the components, technology and practical code implementations of all IoT related to Drone and Robotics.

Drone Simulators (Firmwares & Softwares)

Not necessary that you need to spend a hefty amount in purchasing the components and go out fly in the first go. You can also make a simulator out of your flight controller and a companion computer. Here is the tool that you require:

Mission Planner:

Software license: Open Source

Compatible OS: Windows

Description: The Mission Planner is a ground control software for Arduino created by Michael Oborne. Here are some

Features

  • Point-and-click waypoint entry, using Google Maps/Bing/Open street maps/Custom WMS.
  • Select mission commands from drop-down menus
  • Download mission log files and analyze them
  • Configure APM settings for your airframe
  • Interface with a PC flight simulator to create a full hardware-in-the-loop UAV simulator.
  • See the output from APM’s serial terminal

Download

QGroundControl

Software license: Open Source

Compatible OS: Windows,Mac, Linux/Unix, IOS & Android

Description: QGroundControl provides full flight control and mission planning for any MAVLink enabled drone. Its primary goal is ease of use for professional users and developers.

Features

  • Full setup/configuration of ArduPilot and PX4 Pro powered vehicles.
  • Flight support for vehicles running PX4 and ArduPilot (or any other autopilot that communicates using the MAVLink protocol).
  • Mission planning for autonomous flight.
  • Flight map display showing vehicle position, flight track, waypoints and vehicle instruments.
  • Video streaming with instrument display overlays.
  • Support for managing multiple vehicles.

Download

Software license: Open Source

Compatible OS: Windows,Mac, Unix & Android

Language: Python

Description: DroneKit offers an SDK and web API to easily develop apps for your drones. It is used for intelligent planning, Flight Automation and Live telementary. DroneKit also helps create powerful apps that communicate directly with MAVLink vehicles and python API. DroneKit makes it easy to create customized Android experiences for in-flight interaction using Android API.

Download

This is the full-featured, open-source multicopter UAV controller that won the Sparkfun 2013 and 2014 Autonomous Vehicle Competition (dominating with the top five spots). Copter is capable of the full range of flight requirements from fast paced FPV racing to smooth aerial photography, and fully autonomous complex missions which can be programmed through a number of compatible software ground stations. The entire package is designed to be safe, feature rich, open-ended for custom applications, and is increasingly easy to use even for the novice.

  • A Pixhawk or other autopilot loaded with the latest version of the Copter firmware.
  • Mission Planner software — gives you an easy point-and-click setup/configuration, and a full-featured ground control interface.
  • This Copter Wiki provides all the information you need to set up and operate a multicopter or traditional helicopter.
  • A suitable MultiCopter or Helicopter for your mission.
  • Plus many other useful options: e.g. data radios, which allow two-way wireless telemetry and control between the vehicle and your computer.

Multicopters:

  • Utilize differential thrust management of independent motor-prop units to provide lift and directional control
  • Benefit from mechanical simplicity and design flexibility
  • A capable payload lifter that’s functional in strong wind conditions
  • Redundant lift sources can give increased margin of safety
  • Varied form factor allows convenient options for payload mounting.

Helicopters:

  • Typically use a single lifting rotor with two or more blades
  • Maintain directional control by varying blade pitch via servo-actuated mechanical linkage (many versions of these craft exist and it is beyond the scope of this manual to cover them all — the mechanical systems used in helicopters warrant special study and consideration)
  • Strong, fast and efficient — a proven-worker suitable to many missions.

Download

Drone as a Service (DaaS)

Imagine that you just don’t just wish to start out one drone so as to perform a single mission. Instead, you wish to supply a service that operates a range of unmanned aerial vehicles within the kind of totally different shared services that a lot of customers create use of. so as to ascertain such a Drones as a Service (DaaS) construct, many totally different technologies associate degreed processes got to be integrated into an IT service provision. These are drone technology, network security, and infrastructure yet because of the processes that are needed to control fleets of unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

Today, those levels are work-intensive. Personnel has to move one or extra UAVs to their exact regions of operation. Then there may be at least one individual important to function a single drone inside the visibility range. After completing the mission, a restore, delivery, and protection section typically follows. Usually instances a human manager is continuously remotely linked to the drone as though s/he had been the pilot. While doing so, s/he is likewise capable of taking a look at the drone from the floor inside viewing distance.

For such a standardized on-demand service provision the client solely pays for the end result “business value” in the type of service delivery. Examples are video recordings, sensing element capturing, or gathered and refined info that represents an additional price to the particular recordings. A DaaS supplier is responsible for applying appropriate aerial vessels in addition to maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) of the UAVs and also the complete operation of the ground-based facilities. Ideally, there’s only one interface to the client.

It is important to develop Service Models that permit workout central management of 1 or a lot of sets of drones by a restricted and thus economically excusable variety of human controllers. the mandatory legal and technical preconditions for eventualities of this sort are presently below development.

That’s it for today folks! Hope you enjoyed reading this article. If so, give a thumbs up and stay tuned as I will be coming up with lots of these articles with practical implementations of industry 4.0