2011 finalists & winners > 17+ years > Self Stabilising Quad Rotor
Self Stabilising Quad Rotor
Dan’s project is still a work in progress, but what a work! It has two elements – one is a self-stabilising quad-rotor helicopter, and the second is the android app to control it, as well as the transmitting technology to get one device communicating with the other.
“The best part, by far, has been the learning aspect. A large majority of the project has been brand new to me, meaning that every step had to be learnt, understood, and then applied. The base station uses a PIC microcontroller which is very familiar to me, and the main system uses an ARM processor running a full operating system [called ChibiOS] which I had never done before. It was also a good excuse to learn android programming.
The hardest part was getting the operating system [OS] up and running. The documentation I was using was different to the version of the OS I was running, so there were a few differences making it very difficult to get going.
Working on these projects takes up the majority of my free time. I can often be seen up until 2am working away on something. Usually my success comes at this time, but everyone else is asleep leaving nobody to show it off to!
My two biggest inspirations are Andrew Hornblow, who is a Bright Sparks mentor and Ian Lesnet [Ian is from Dangerous Prototypes]. Andrew taught me how to learn about electronics and he was also always there to help when I got stuck.
Ian has been a great mentor now that I'm in to more advanced circuit design. Dangerous Prototypes was responsible for the Bus Pirate - one of the most useful tools I own. I've also talked to him over email, and he's a great guy willing to share how he learnt about things.
If I could invent anything, it would be virtual reality! How awesome would it be to play a first person shooter game where you are the guy! It would be like being in a war movie, without having to die. It would be as real as you could get without risking injuries.
Next year I have been accepted to study a Bachelor of Electronics Engineering at Waikato University, and I'll be staying in Bryant Hall. I can’t wait!”