Design, Build, Fly and Code your own Drone!
Welcome to the 'How to Make a Drone' course, where we will be covering the gauntlet of drone related subjects. Most drone build courses will only show you how to put together pre-selected parts, without providing the potent ‘why’ behind the choices. And they certainly don’t show you how to code your own automatic missions with python.
This course will cover it all. Whether you want to simply build a flyable drone from scratch, or to learn how to select parts to design your own drone, or even to learn about software that would allow you to script automatic drone missions (for that new ‘taco delivery’ company idea?), we’ll go over it in this course with a unique Linux based Raspberry Pi drone!
Ever wanted to get into drones, but have no idea where to start? Or maybe you're looking for a good drone to prototype new ideas with. The content covered here will be valuable for both the experienced and inexperienced, and the drone that we build is both beginner friendly and the ideal drone for more complex subjects (like computer vision based flying!)
Here are the main subjects in this course:
- Hardware: Basic Drone Components (GPS, motors, ESCs, LiPos etc)
- Design: How to design your own drone and find the right parts
- Building: Assemble and build your drone from the parts that were chosen from the design process
- Flying: Basic flying and best practices
- Coding: SSH into your Linux drone and configure/code it from the command line
Will you need to buy drone parts to get value from this course?
While this course was designed for you to follow along with the drone build prescribed, 80% of the videos are not specific to a specific drone build. This means you can still extract extremely valuable knowledge from this course without needing to spend the money to buy the drone parts. Even without building a drone, you'll still learn about the hardware, design and build processes, and some best practices and maintenance for drone pilots.
What is the estimated cost of the drone built in this course?
If you already have the necessary tools (soldering iron, drill, screwdrivers etc): ~$400
If you do not: ~$500
What if you want to build a drone, but not the type used in this course?
This would work just fine, because there is even a section dedicated to illuminating the design process, which would allow you to design and find the parts for your own drone build. Most of the videos would still directly apply to your drone.
So who this course is for?
- Raspberry Pi lovers seeking a drone related project
- Total newbies looking for a place to start in the drone world
- Engineers/Programmers desiring a drone that's easy to prototype with
- Tinkerers wanting to build their own open source ardupilot drone from scratch
- Linux enthusiasts wanting a flyable linux box
Some highlights we will learn from the 5 sections:
- Learn of the special units for all your required hardwire (Example: What does the C-rating of a LiPo battery actually mean? How do mAh and Coulombs relate? What’s the difference between a 2300 Kv motor and a 935 Kv motor?)
- Different methods of estimating thrust/current draw of your drone design before you buy the parts
- Soldering ESCs to the power distribution board
- Setting up Telemetry and connecting your drone to Mission Planner (our ground control station)
- Different types of flight modes we can fly our drone with (Example: Loiter- GPS based mode that attempts to lock the drone in a single point in 3D space, Alt-Hold- Barometer based flight mode to hold the drone at a particular altitude)
- SSH-ing into our Linux drone
- Compile our own firmware right from our drone (could even be flying while we are doing this!)
- Download DroneKit and write some python scripts that will make our drone fly autonomous missions (without an RC controller!)
If you would rather get a drone kit with all the parts pre-selected, we have the answer!
Many students enjoy the part selection portion of the drone building process. Others would rather purchase a drone kit with all the parts pre-selected and in one box.
For those of you that want to get right into drone building and flying, and skip the part selection process, we are offering a complete Pixhawk and Raspberry Pi drone kit that we are calling (not so creatively) the PiHawk. Check it out at this link!It includes over 40 parts that we will ship in a single drone kit right to your front door!
Caleb Bergquist feels very uncomfortable with writing about himself, but he hopes you will pretend to read the rest of this while thinking he did not write this himself, and not judge him for his self-bloviating autobiography camouflaged as a biography. He digresses. Caleb Bergquist has a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Tulsa, and currently works as a DevOps engineer at a software company by day. By night, he is a hobbyist/tinkerer in many areas, but has been magnetized towards all things drones, from hardware to software. The trend here is that there is no trend. I’ve.. I mean, he has spent much time binge-learning of the myriad of open source projects that are fueling the development of the drone space, and wishes to lower the barrier of entry to these subjects for those coming behind him. He wishes to do this by combining his experience as an instructor, with the democratization of the knowledge he’s accumulated on the fringes of new technologies.
StartLiPo Batteries Part 1 (3:28)
StartLiPo Batteries Part 2 (6:30)
StartFlight Controllers Part 1 (4:51)
StartFlight Controllers Part 2 (6:28)
StartElectronic Speed Controllers (ESCs) (6:20)
StartRC and Telemetry (8:24)
StartBattery Connectors (5:19)
StartGPS/Optical Flow (6:22)
StartThrust to Weight Ratios (7:15)
StartEstimating Weight of Drones Part 1 (3:16)
StartEstimating Weight of Drones Part 2 (7:04)
StartDrive-train of Drones: Props+Motors+Batteries (4:52)
StartEstimating Thrust and Current Draw (9:52)
StartChoosing ESCs (5:18)
StartSummary of Course Drone Build (2:32)