Log 10-30-2010

New code on the AeroQuad svn

The AeroQuad svn seems to have more code than the downloaded version, and is being updated constantly. We found some new code to handle the barometer and compass. They are defined in Arduino classes in .h files - for example, Altitude.h and Compass.h. You can get a read-only version like this:

svn checkout http://aeroquad.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/ aeroquad-read-only

However, you don't have to just get the read-only version. We have an AeroQuad account - our username is CMUQuad. I'll try to put our password in a private section of the wiki.

We would like to be able to make an svn branch for our own changes. Note that this also means we can't take out the code for other systems besides the AeroQuad Mega 2.0 - we'll have wade through that code, but it should be worth it.

Progress on our short-term goals from last week:

  • Odometry with Accelerometer (Alex/Dan)
    • Todo: find papers
  • GPS On (James)
  • GPS Api (Jeff/Jitu/James)
    • Could be a non-issue/shouldn't take on.
    • James can make this work today.
  • XBee and Documentation (Harrison/Jitu)
    • Assume we have the hardware
    • All we need is two serial connection XBees.
  • Barometer (Priya/Dan)
    • Dan found code on the SVN, made a few changes.
  • Rotor Protection (Mike/Harrison)
    • Ordered the foam and supplies
  • Camera Mount (Mike/Harrison)
  • New idea: look at ArduCopter. It merges AeroQuad and autonomous piloting.

Events of the week

  • Crash this week: Quadrotor dropped from 5 or 6 feet. One of the motors detached and failed, causing the quadrotor to fall out of the air and break two more motors. We had replacements ready and so Quadrotor is once again flying, but this is worrying because it's hard to tell when such a failure could happen again. A plus is that roboclub is interested in ordering our motors and speed controllers for us.
  • Note on design: the spars that form the frame of the quadrotor have the potential to slip in the anchoring mechanism in the middle. This should only happen in a crash and so should be fine: just inspect it after a crash.
  • Carbon-fiber ducts for the fans: We bought foam to encircle the fans, which should help with safety and efficiency of the rotors.
  • We also have more lights on the quadrotor. One of them is wired slightly wrong (black and red wires switched), but for an LED this should not be an issue.