JacekQ
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri May 18, 2012 1:17 pm

Pi in the sky - RC Plane

Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:34 am

Hello,
I'll put RPi into rc plane, connect some devices (webcam, gps, gyroscope, accelerometer) and see how it will work.

Phase 1 - black box.
Recording flight parameters.
Step 1.
Connect RPi with webcam and capture video from plane.

Equipment:
  • Plane - Sky surfer - it's not very big but if you remove cabine there is enought space to put RPi inside.
  • Webcam - Logitech Quickcam E3500 or Logitech Quickcam 9000 PRO - E3500 can be turned in each direction but has not very qood quality, 9000 PRO has very good quality but can't be turned
  • Power supply - plane battery with modifications. In this plane receiver is powered from engine controller and servos are powered through receiver. Engine controller output voltage is 5.04V. First time I connect RPi to receiver and it works fine when I don't touch any rudders. When I try to move rudders output voltage drops down to 4.6V and RPi "dies". The modification is to add bec, connect it parallel to battery and connect RPi to this bec. Everything works very good.
  • Raspberry Pi with some scripts to capture video.

Test
If the weather allow today I will try to fly ... And if everything goes ok I'll put videos on youtube.

[TODO]
Phase 1 - Step 2. - Connect gps and record position.
Phase 1 - Step 3. - Connect gyroscope and record data.
Phase 1 - Step 4. - Connect accelerometer and record data.
Phase 1 - Step 5. - Connect servos to RPi and record all rudder positions.
Phase 1 - Step 6. - Write some application to present all this data vith 3D view of flight path.
Phase 2 - Drone - allow RPi to control flight.
--
Best regards,
Jacek Q.

recantha
Posts: 209
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:41 am

Re: Pi in the sky - RC Plane

Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:00 am

Sounds very cool! Let us know how it goes!
My Raspberry Pi blog with all my latest projects and links to articles
http://raspberrypipod.blogspot.com. +++ Current project: PiPodTricorder - lots of sensors, lots of mini-displays, breadboarding, bit of programming.

neil2909
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:23 am

Re: Pi in the sky - RC Plane

Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:23 am

You should not run the Pi off the receiver battery unless you fly for very short flight times. The last thing you want is the receiver giving up due to flat battery in the air! The receiver battery should only be used to fly the plane, any extras should be self powered to allow the flight to be carried out as safety as possible.

Good luck

Targettio
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:02 am

Re: Pi in the sky - RC Plane

Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:26 pm

Nice idea for a project.

All of the things you want to do are possible. Take a look at http://diydrones.com/ this shows you how to do the similar thing with an arduino (and sell you the parts). That might have some useful information for your project.

JacekQ
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri May 18, 2012 1:17 pm

Re: Pi in the sky - RC Plane

Wed Sep 26, 2012 1:03 pm

neil2909 wrote:You should not run the Pi off the receiver battery unless you fly for very short flight times. The last thing you want is the receiver giving up due to flat battery in the air! The receiver battery should only be used to fly the plane, any extras should be self powered to allow the flight to be carried out as safety as possible.

Good luck
I've forgot to add one more equipment device - buzzer. If battery voltage drops down below 3.5V per cell (3 cells x 3.5V = 10.5V) the buzzer will start making noise and I will have to land turn everything off.
--
Best regards,
Jacek Q.

JacekQ
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri May 18, 2012 1:17 pm

Re: Pi in the sky - RC Plane

Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:58 pm

Hello,
I was flying here.

Link to captured videos playlist.

The weather condition were difficult because of strong wind so plane was very unstable.
I have to change some video settings because sometimes there are "speed ups" - it looks like fast forward with preview.
--
Best regards,
Jacek Q.

pygmy_giant
Posts: 1562
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:49 am

Re: Pi in the sky - RC Plane

Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:10 pm

good work!

heres an inspirational video: http://diydrones.com/profiles/blogs/mul ... re-2-6beta
Ostendo ignarus addo scientia.

recantha
Posts: 209
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:41 am

Re: Pi in the sky - RC Plane

Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:10 pm

Yep. That's going on the officially cool list alongside the Weather Balloon and the FishPi :-)
Nice one :-)
You'll have to do some photos of the innards of the plane - how you put it together etc. I think a great many people would be interested. If you can get some more details up by the weekend, I'll pass the details of the experiment around the guys and girls at the Milton Keynes Raspberry Jam. :-)
My Raspberry Pi blog with all my latest projects and links to articles
http://raspberrypipod.blogspot.com. +++ Current project: PiPodTricorder - lots of sensors, lots of mini-displays, breadboarding, bit of programming.

User avatar
maksm
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2012 6:36 pm

Re: Pi in the sky - RC Plane

Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:45 am

Very interested, so I'll follow this one closely :)

Good luck mate!

Funky Diver
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2012 8:11 pm

Re: Pi in the sky - RC Plane

Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:19 am

You may wish to consider making a base station so that the two can communicate, along with tracking antennas for control and video.

Some considerations to think about, being able to set parameters for RTH (Return to Home), having a video overlay (HUD) so that if you need to fly an you cannot see the plane, at least you can fly the plane first person view.

You might also want to check out RVOSD along with DIY drones for a full feature list :)

JacekQ
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri May 18, 2012 1:17 pm

Re: Pi in the sky - RC Plane

Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:18 pm

Hello,
This is link to google doc with project description.
--
Best regards,
Jacek Q.

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morphy_richards
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Location: Epping Forest
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Re: Pi in the sky - RC Plane

Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:26 pm

I agree it's an exciting project - Are you sure this sky surfer plane you intend to use will have enough power to carry all the extra payload you will need? Do you already have the plane and if so could you add weights to test it will still fly after your modifications?

JacekQ
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri May 18, 2012 1:17 pm

Re: Pi in the sky - RC Plane

Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:32 pm

morphy_richards wrote:Do you already have the plane and if so could you add weights to test it will still fly after your modifications?
Yes I have this plane and ... as you can see here (or look at this post) it's flying with camera. I think that gps + gyroscope + accelerometer will give something about 20 to 40 grams more so it is no problem.
--
Best regards,
Jacek Q.

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maksm
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2012 6:36 pm

Re: Pi in the sky - RC Plane

Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:44 pm

I think the SkySurfer can handle about 1kg of weight, maybe with a more powerfull motor and esc, but people put a whole lot of stuff onto it :) Just check out some more sophisticated builds of the Sky Surfer or the Bixler (they are basicaly the same).

JacekQ
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri May 18, 2012 1:17 pm

Re: Pi in the sky - RC Plane

Mon Oct 01, 2012 6:01 am

Unfortunately, the plane was crashed yesterday.
Now I'm waiting for new parts.
--
Best regards,
Jacek Q.

recantha
Posts: 209
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:41 am

Re: Pi in the sky - RC Plane

Mon Oct 01, 2012 6:10 am

DOH!
My Raspberry Pi blog with all my latest projects and links to articles
http://raspberrypipod.blogspot.com. +++ Current project: PiPodTricorder - lots of sensors, lots of mini-displays, breadboarding, bit of programming.

pygmy_giant
Posts: 1562
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:49 am

Re: Pi in the sky - RC Plane

Sat Oct 06, 2012 3:38 pm

get well soon .... :)
Ostendo ignarus addo scientia.

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relnext
Posts: 27
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Location: Florida, USA
Contact: Website

Re: Pi in the sky - RC Plane

Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:59 pm

JacekQ wrote:Unfortunately, the plane was crashed yesterday.
Now I'm waiting for new parts.
install a big captain's chair
our pet rat (who is now an internet star thanks to his Pi) would like to go for a ride. he's adventurous, cool under pressure and smart. he has a bit of a weight problem tho... so maybe he'll just wait for the AppolloPi...

JacekQ
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri May 18, 2012 1:17 pm

Re: Pi in the sky - RC Plane

Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:36 pm

Hello,
This is last picture before crash.
To mount RPi there are two rubbers one under and one above RPi. Another a few rubbers to mount webcam. In front there is switch to turn on/off RPi. As you can see RPi is half inside hull.

Let's say that I fixed plane but the weather is too windy to try if everything is fine.

relnext: I think there is no space for big captain's chair ;)
--
Best regards,
Jacek Q.

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morphy_richards
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Re: Pi in the sky - RC Plane

Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:05 am

That's a very cool little aeroplane! I wish my kid was a bit older so that I would be able to justify buying one to SWMBO ('s educational, honest! No of course I haven't bought if for myself)

JacekQ
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri May 18, 2012 1:17 pm

Re: Pi in the sky - RC Plane

Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:38 am

morphy_richards wrote:That's a very cool little aeroplane!
It's not so little:
  • wingspan: 140cm
  • length: 92.5cm
Now I'm thinking about something bigger (wingspan 200-220cm) :)
morphy_richards wrote:I wish my kid was a bit older so that I would be able to justify buying one to SWMBO ('s educational, honest! No of course I haven't bought if for myself)
I have a 5 year old son ... and theoretically this plane is for him ;)
--
Best regards,
Jacek Q.

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morphy_richards
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Re: Pi in the sky - RC Plane

Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:54 am

JacekQ wrote:Hello,
This is last picture before crash.
How did the crash happen? I know there are strict rules about model aircraft flying on "auto" instead of manual control but I wonder if it might be possible to also use the pi to build in a bit of crash avoidance.

JacekQ
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri May 18, 2012 1:17 pm

Re: Pi in the sky - RC Plane

Sun Oct 07, 2012 9:08 am

morphy_richards wrote:How did the crash happen?
Fortunately, I remove RPi and webcam before crash ... I gave the plane a friend. He flew too close to the trees and caught on branches, fell and hit the ground vertically.
--
Best regards,
Jacek Q.

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morphy_richards
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Re: Pi in the sky - RC Plane

Sun Oct 07, 2012 9:16 am

Imagine adding a few sonar sensors and a gyro.... If the Pi detects 'danger' it could give the plane a little 'nudge'. It would never really be out of human radio control though...

...would it be legal?

cTn
Posts: 49
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Re: Pi in the sky - RC Plane

Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:08 am

morphy_richards wrote:Imagine adding a few sonar sensors and a gyro.... If the Pi detects 'danger' it could give the plane a little 'nudge'. It would never really be out of human radio control though...

...would it be legal?
Well, this will be possible (in theory), because there are few aspects that you need to consider, you can use i2c enabled sonars (which are little expensive) but you could "drive" them directly from the rpi, if you don't have a bag of many stashed for this, you would probably use some cheap ultrasonic sensor like SRF04 or 05, but this will require an extra microcontroller and an logic converter (because these run on 5v), and third even when the specs are advertising that the working range is from lets say 4cm to 4m, i saw some benchmarks and the "reliable range" is between 4cm to 1m, and i doubt giving a plane a smart "heads up" would be fast enough when the obstacle is 1m away.

I will be using ultrasonics the same way as you described on my rpi quadcopter, but quad should me moving a lil slower then a plane.

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