Quadcopters are so popular these days, but I still prefer traditional helicopters. They are more efficient, can carry heavier payloads, give a faster response ... and are a bigger challenge. That's why I'm revamping an RC helicopter into an autonomous platform to test a few technologies. This is the first test of some of its electronics.
Sidenote: It is my little brother that you hear in the video, and actually operating the controls.
I also took this oportunity to pick my old analog transmitter and adapt it to use a nice lipo battery instead of the bunch of AA batteries it used to require. The new battery almost fits nicely in the back of it, but I think a 3d-printed cover will do a lot of good.
It will be quite a big setup of electronics when I finish it. I want to arrange a double core system with Ardupilot hardware for low-level control and navigation (Custom software, though) and a Raspberry Pi (Probably model B) for main computer. I'll throw in a GPS and an ultrasound sensor for autonomous navigation and landing. That, an RC receiver module and a separate battery pack for electronics make the core of the system. Extra sensors, cameras, and stuff for different experiments will follow.
The main use of the helicopter will be as a platform to develop experiments on autopilots and communications. More to come soon :)