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I want to design a Quadcopter. I am a novice and would like to start off with the basic Arduino that can support making a Quadcopter.

Which Arduino board will be good...?

Also, I plan to add Android interface later.

Also, can anybody suggest places in India where Arduino boards are available so I can buy one..?

Thanks!

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  • From experience, any of them work. I worked on a project where we started with a custom arduino pcb, then switched to an arduino mega, then an arduino uno, all in the span of 2 weeks. They're really all the same, but have different pinouts and such. Do your research to find out what pins are on the board you select and what you need, as well as sizing and where you're gonna put it on your quadcopter. Best of luck! – Anubian Noob Jul 14 '15 at 1:47
  • As far as your second question goes, if there are no local hardware/hobbyist stores around, you can always buy them online. I believe the official Arduino store ships internationally, and they have a lot of authorized retailers and such who might be closer. – Anubian Noob Jul 14 '15 at 1:48
  • There's little reason to use any "Arduino" not purpose-designed for this purpose, as board to board connections merely add weight and failure points, the regulators are often unsuitable, and there's nothing on an "Arduino" that is more complicated to work with on a custom PCB than the IMU components themselves will be. – Chris Stratton Jul 14 '15 at 2:23
  • You would suggest buying an ArdoPilot, then @ChrisStratton? – Faizuddin Mohammed Jul 14 '15 at 5:40
  • Not specifically, no. – Chris Stratton Jul 14 '15 at 14:07
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The right board for you is the board that best fits your design. Leave the Arduino as a "black box" in your design and don't worry about it. Once you know what you need from your Arduino board in the way of control interfaces, IO, processing power, etc, you (and we) will be in a better position to choose a suitable board.

Until then you're basically asking "I want to take my driving test. What kind of car should I buy?", which makes absolutely no sense.

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  • yeah.. okay. I'll do some more research. Thanks! Any suggestions where I should start..?? I want to start off a with a very basic floating quad. – Faizuddin Mohammed Jul 13 '15 at 17:26
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Just thinking about weight, which you need to lift with your quad, I would go with the Arduino Nano at first shot. It is cheap and lightweight. If you reach bounderies like IO pins or RAM you can think about an upgrade.

What do you need? Basically:

  • 4 motors which makes 4 IO pins
  • sensor for the remote signal

That should be doable with the Nano.

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There are not a lot of differences between all the arduino based flight boards out there to be honest.

Any avr based arduino (uno, leonardo, mega) have the same AVR processor, the only computational differences are RAM and flash memory sizes. They are all capable of running a quad, if bounded somewhat on how fancy they can get by their slow computations. AVR is intended for IO, not processing power after all.

A more powerful arm processor would aleviate many problems by running a RTOS and having much quicker calculations, but then you mave more IO problems because the ARM arduinos are 3.3v while the RC electronics normally used are 5v. A lot of the newer boards I see running quads are ARM. They are generally not arduino compatible though.

Anyway, the arduino mega (or any board with an atmega2560) is the best arduino to use because of its extra memory, but if you are careful any avr with 2kb of ram or more should be safe. Sensor wise it absolutely much have an accelerometer and gyroscope. Magnetometer and barometer are good to have but unnecessesary. Usually this means it will have an MPU6000 or MPU6050 onboard.

You should look for boards that are supported by MultiWii, aeroquad, or ardupilot. They will have what you need. ready to fly quads and hobbyking are where I would look. Then you can upload some open source code to run everything.

Make sure you know how much work goes into writing the software to run a quad yourself if you are planning on doing that. It is very difficult, with the precise timing involved, advanced mathematics (calculus, linear algebra, lots of 3d geometry), multiple IO devices (radio in, serial in/out, accel,gyro,mag,baro, 4 motors), and limited resources. Then, on AVR at least, you don't have threads. If any code stops the (sensor read -> flight calculation -> output update) process from happening at ~100Hz it will probably crash.

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  • Thanks for the info.. I'll probably go with Arduino Mega. – Faizuddin Mohammed Jul 14 '15 at 5:54
  • Bad choice - way too big – Chris Stratton Jul 14 '15 at 14:08
  • The arduino mega itself is unnecessarily large; What I was really getting at was to look at a board with an atmega2560. In any case, the mega still isn't that heavy so I don't think it would be a problem. – BrettAM Jul 14 '15 at 17:26

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