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Quad and Hexa copters
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  • @yeehaanow @Tobsen @gizmo You all seem to have much experience with this. Why don't you share your findings and setup?

  • As someone who likes to fly small size planes and copters for hobby, I can tell you that the wind is your worst enemy. When it's windy I just don't fly, but if you are a professional on a job, this won't be possible. You'll have to spend on powerful equipment and stabilizers and learn to fly like a master. I've been flying a long time and rc pretty much my whole life and I am no master at all. I'm impressed by horizon's asx3 affect on the ultra-micro planes in the wind. Like others have said above, this tech will make things easier, but you will still need pilot skills.

  • What if the copter had a camera facing downward, tracking physical movement in a real sense, along with the various other sensors, wind can be compensated for. Actually the AR drone does this ;) Though that's a cheap toy, it can only get better.

    As for those drones doing all that fancy stuff, that's a bit of a mis representation, as it doesn't tell you that they're using motion capture technology to track each drone's exact location in 3d space.

  • I want one. This is the future of indie film making.

  • @joesiv- that exists. It's called helicommand, made by captron. I have one and it works ok, unless you're over snow or water or flying too high. @johnnym- yes we could tell you our exact detailed setup, but that is only 1/3 of what it takes, so what would be the point ? The other equally important parts are mechanical/ electronic setup, and piloting skills. You might be able to pick up the mechanical/ elec stuff in a decent amount of time (couple months if you have help from people near you who know) but the piloting skills..... There IS NO SHORTCUT. You can't just "know" the muscle memory and hand-eye coordination required to fly something that moves in 3d, you have to learn it through hours and hours of practice. Years really, to do it expertly and confidently. And currently, there is no computer flight control that will do it for you. I'm repeating myself again and being a downer, I know. So, if anyone doesn't believe me, go buy the best basic copter you can afford, be it multi-copter or single rotor, put it together and fly it around as many hours a day as you can. Then you'll see what I'm talking about. :)

  • I bought a cheapo MQX Blade quad to play with a few weeks ago. Very humbling indeed. My son, who has RC plane and coaxial heli experience, took to it very quickly. Guess all the video game hand-eye training isn't a complete waste :-).

    I recommend the ready-to-fly MQX Blade ($159 street price)... at a minimum, it's fun.

  • @yeehaanow the point would be that users here could already be a little on their way. You have probably sifted through hours and hours of information on fora. So i guess i'm asking your conclusion. What are the good parts, what's best to avoid buying? What do you have to take into account when buying parts? Which skills do you need to assemble a copter? And most of all : what makes a copter stable?

  • Well that would take a book! :) I don't have much experience with multirotors yet, but people seem to have great experience with the Cinestar. They are expensive but you get what you pay for, (except with the hacked gh2) and you can buy a complete setup. Another option is mikrokopter. So I would say buy a Dji Naza quad kit and learn how to fly and set it up/ fly around a gopro then you'll be ready to graduate to the cinestar someday. Venturing into traditional helicopters is asking for a world of pain, and there are too many possibilities. Most of my gear is custom designed and built so you can't buy it anywhere. There are better forums where you can get more specific info. I mentioned them earlier in this thread.

  • @yeehaanow I think it's interesting that these days the technology is getting better, and at the same time kids and adults alike are constantly in "training simulators" with twin stick controls, learning many of the fine control nuances that you probably speak of. It's called videogames :) No joke, kids with are learning the muscle memory that will likely transfer over quite well to things like flying RC copters, especially with software and sensors aiding them. Have you ever tried to play a twin stick shooter competitively online these days? Or even a physics driven racing simulator, at the edge of traction?

    It's an interesting world, and who knows, perhaps this type of work is a great transition for a lot of youngsters.

  • Yes, I used to be a Halo master, but as soon as it went online I quickly got schooled by kids half my age. It's something that helps, for sure, but still only part of the equation. Gear$ + Setup + Pilot = success. And let's not forget, all pro aerial video takes two operators, one on the copter, and the other on the camera.

  • for sure! I'm more of a problem solver, ha ha, and with some of these new fangled tracking methods, where a pan head can follow a target, either in software or using a marker, could help for a potential one man team.

    Frankly, I'd love to give it a go, but as you guys are suggesting, I'd probably lop off my arm or something horrible :) Being one to tinker in electronics, and a programmer/scripter, It's something I've always dreamed about giving a go. Maybe one of these days.

  • A new federal law, signed by the president on Tuesday, compels the Federal Aviation Administration to allow drones to be used for all sorts of commercial endeavors — from selling real estate and dusting crops, to monitoring oil spills and wildlife, even shooting Hollywood films. Local police and emergency services will also be freer to send up their own drones.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/18/technology/drones-with-an-eye-on-the-public-cleared-to-fly.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

  • Love the hacked GH2 on our A/P machines!

  • I'm new to multicopters. And though I'm not up to filming with my new Quad I built. The right Flight control makes all the Difference. If you can get one, Open Pilot's Copter Control is amazing. I'm not doing any crazy moves, but you can fly a Quad copter with an Open pilot board pretty easily. The electrons and software are getting better. You will with some practice be able to fly at least a GoPro for starts.

  • Man that last video is Scary.... I can see a great movie idea here..'Attack of the Killer Quads'....

  • @johnnym So far, we only fly with stock setting on the GH2 (unfortunately, my boss doesn't trust hacks) and Panny OIS lenses. We tried the Olympus 12m f2, but without optical image stabilization, you need more post stabilization, which reduces quality. So we stick with OIS lenses. Our first octocopter was a ready-to-fly set from a company called Service Drohne. They fly quite well out of the box, but are damn expensive. The second and third octocoptes are built by our pilot. He uses parts from different manufacturers and combines them. I actually have no clue what exactly the components are called, I am working on the camera side. Maybe I can find some pics and post them later on.

  • There are so many variables. Motors, props, Speed controllers, batteries, but the heart is the Flight Controller. The FC has gyros, magnetometer, accelerometers, barometer, sometimes GPS, telemetry (radios back to the base station), FPV camera and transmitter, etc.

  • Yup - so many variables! That is why we leave the technical stuff to experts. We just test and report back on the flight behavior.

  • Today we had a shoot at a Mercedes Benz offroad testing area. Will post some footage soon!

  • Vijay Kumar: Robots that fly ... and cooperate, TED talk on the subject

    http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/vijay_kumar_robots_that_fly_and_cooperate.html

  • @johnnym Sorry for late reply, I was at Costa Rica filming for Survivor :) Here's some nature shots made with Droidworx CX4, Gopro and Nex5. This little but powerful quad was spare machine. My two main working machines are Mikrokopter Okto2 and Droidworx AD8 HLE. On both machines I mainly use GH2.

  • @gizmo Gizmo needs waterproff case for gh2 :)

  • :P you are such a bad boy!