Building a Quadcopter: Part 1

by Abhishek Bhatnagar

NOTE: Part 2 is available here

Things that fly are fun. Some things that fly are quadcopters. Hence Quadcopters are fun.

I recently started building one with Chris Tuckwood and even though we’re just in the beginning stages, the excitement is already high.

Since this is only the first in what will likely be an army of quadcopters, we’re more or less winging it with less planning, and more doing. We ordered the following parts to start with:
– a controller board (eventually to be replaced by an Arduino)
– Some rotors and motors
– Couple of ESCs
– RC receiver/transmitter
– A battery
– And some other connectors/wires

Most of these should get here by next week (hopefully), and that’s when the real building process will start. In the meanwhile, we bought some aluminium tubing locally for the body, and with Chris’ expertise, have started chiseling it to make an X-Frame body. This has required some tools, and the good people at HackLabTo have been providing us with them. In fact, hacklab has been running a meeting group of interested parties who are all building quadcopters, and meet weekly to exchange ideas and plans. This excellent community is run through a mailing list by Eric Boyd here.

Here are some pics from that first cutting session Chris and I worked at in hacklab’s glorious* bathroom.

Chris Cutting

What the final product should look like

What the final product did look like...success

Frame Close Up

* you would call it glorious too if you saw some of the things in there. Other than it being a fully stacked server room, it also has a laser cutter, and several other well placed tools.