2014-09-20

DIY drone - tutorial for developers | Introduction

After all the craze about drone deliveries (Amazon, Google, ... ), I realized I know next to nothing about those things and I decided to try to make one myself. While looking for information on the interwebs it took me weeks to understand what I needed and how to put it together.

I wanted to share my experience so the next person coming from the same background can get up to speed way faster than I did.




Basically most tutorials focus on how to edit a config.h file and compile stuff for 5 year olds but completely skip the why do we need ESCs ? We have 12V batteries where does the 5V comes from ? And what is 3S on a battery ? They take the modelist approach trying to code but this tutorial is for developers who try to make a model.

As a developer you'll need to learn 2 things : the first one is how the RC / electronics is working and the second one is how to pilot those things.

Our first 10 steps will be to make a simple quadcopter and fly it before upgrading it to a drone :

Part 1 - Learn how to pilot 

Part 2 - The basic toolset 


Part 3 - Ordering the parts

Part 4 - Dev environment 


Part 5 - Assembling the power components 


Part 6 - Mechanical assembly 


Part 7 - Motors + ESCs setup and test 


Part 8 - Hooking up the FC 


Part 9 - Calibrating your ESCs and fix the throttle 

Part 10 - Preflight checkups and maiden flight ! 


So let's start to train your pilot skills