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Archive for the ‘blimp’ Category

We have to admit, we like airships. There’s something about the image of a stately zeppelin floating over Manhattan that just makes us imagine the future. There are not many airships anymore, but you can always build your own. [Crafty Robot] shows how to use one of their boards to make a simple and easy controlled balloon. Honestly, they don’t give you many details, but we know how to turn motors and servos. We loved their construction with hot glue and bamboo. Effective, and fun to say.

The bamboo skewers are easy to find and make a lightweight frame. Some drone motors provide thrust and some simple RC servos control the angle of the props. Nice and simple.

We really liked how the frame was so minimal and was something you could put on just about any kind of controller board in just a few minutes. The helium baloons are easy to get, too. You can even get the goop to put in them (or have it put in them) that makes them last a lot longer than they used to.

If you wanted to fly autonmously, any controller board would get you there. The video uses a phone app which we assume is part of the Smartibot they are promoting, but honestly, there are a lot of other ways you can get there.

Blynk comes to mind. Or roll your own with websockets. We were thinking if you mounted three motors 60 degrees apart, you might be able to get really nice control, especially if you had an optical flow sensor or something similar to close the loop.

We always think that crossing the Atlantic in a blimp would be very serene — at least once they put heaters on board. The Hindenburg, the R-101, and the Shenandoah put an end to the age of the airship, at least for commercial passenger travel. But you can still fly your own with a helium balloon and some electronics. One notable project — the Blimpduino — has evolved into the Blimpduino 2. The open-source software is on GitHub. We couldn’t find the PCB layout, so we aren’t sure if it is or will be open. The 3D printed parts are available, though.

The PCB is the heart of the matter, a four-layer board with an ARM M0 processor, an ESP8266 WiFi module, four motor outputs, two motor outputs, a 9-axis inertial navigation system, an altimeter, and a forward object detection system. There’s also a battery charger onboard.

The standard set up uses three props: two for thrust and one for altitude. There’s a smartphone app and apparently, you can even have a copilot with a second phone. The lifting body is a mylar balloon with helium and they say the control is suitable even for a very large balloon. The altimeter data is from a time-of-flight sensor and there’s also a pressure transducer with temperature sensor if you want to measure higher altitudes.

We couldn’t embed the video, but there’s one of people flying the things through hoops on the website. You can, however, see a promotional video, below. As you might expect, payload capability is very low and so 3D printed parts have low infill and the board is made to be light.

Of course, our own [Sophi Kravitz] has been building her drone blimp army for some time and we are waiting for her attempt at world domination any day now. If you are in the mood for something lower tech, you can always rip apart a toy car and add your own balloon.

 

Apr
22

Paper-Thin Arduino Enables DIY Dirigible

arduino, blimp, bluetooth, printoo Commenti disabilitati su Paper-Thin Arduino Enables DIY Dirigible 

Printoo - Lighter than Air-1Build your own balloon-based blimp with Printoo, a new paper-thin Arduino-compatible microcontroller.

Read more on MAKE



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