Let's Make Robots!

Robotic Airship, some ideas :)

So i was looking at some flying robot designs, just out of curiosity. I ruled out helicopters and planes: they require too much precision in crafting and are too complex.. But alternatively an airship could probably be built :)

I've read on wikipedia that a square meter of helium can lift about 1 kg. A square meter means a big balloon, but a Kg is plenty of weight for electonics!

If you use light components, you can probably stay under 0,5 Kg or even less.

For example, some very light battery like this one at 1.1 Ah (only 22 grams!!) or this one at 2Ah, 36 grams.

The airship would probably be too light to effectively fly outdoor, but otherwise it would be nice to have a GPS module and a long-range radio link (this rates at 1,5 Km, not bad), and let it fly :P

There are micro servo that weights 8 grams, the GM10 motors wheight 5 grams.

For the balloon, one of the cheapest way would be to use a condom :P They're strong and light and cheap, the can be inflated to a cilinder that, with some inprecise calculation i did, could host about 0,1 square meter of gas. One could use two or three and have planty of lifting power :)

So the question is: am i completely crazy ?:P

No really, do you think this design could ever work? Of course the best would be to have something that can be controller outdoor, but i think it would be too much..

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Can't you fill the blimp with hydrogen?

It's not like there is going to be a fire in the sky!

You can also generate your own hydrogen with electricity and salt water.

This cut's the price of the gas down.

And can't you use an ultrasonic sensor for height mesurments?

Then you only need to consentrate on gps.

I'm working on a blimp for about a year and a half now, all I could say is make your robot, then wheigh it, then think about the enveloppe (balloon) volume, do some maths, 1cubic meter of helium may lift 1kg but it's at room temperature at sea level, make sure everything it's just a rule of thumb.

I have a fresh balloon from a blimp. not sure exactly how big, but probably strong enough. not sure how to attatch anything to it 

in fact dont use anything that is elastice like balloon meteorologic ballon, ect. anything that is flexible is very bad for aerodynamics, use "aluminzed nylon" instead it's most time called Mylar but it's not. you can make your ballon by sealing it with an iron.

I've did a lot of research on that field and aluminized nylon is the best you can get.

You've brought back memories from 20 years ago.

I'm amused by this thread, and will follow it.  From personal experience, I can tell you that a condom will hold a large volumn of helium.  Enough to lift sereral ounces at least.  In our "experiments", we taped pennies to them for ballast and balance, so they'd stay somewhat level, and crepe paper steamers for visual effect.  (With creative graphics drawn with permanent markers).

We were flying our "Trojan Blimps" inside a factory production room (on the mid-night shift) which had an accoustical tile ceiling, about 25 feet high.  They were subject to the slightest air movement.  We could sort of "control" thier flight with blasts from compressed air hoses from floor level.

I don't really know how long they would hold the heluim before it leaked out, because the longest that we had one last was just a couple of hours.  Eventually they'd bump into something and  go "POP".  Either that, or get shot down by an opponent, using a rubber band and paper clip.  Fish hooks were also used sometimes.

We'd have 6, 2 man teams, with 6 "Blimps" going at a time.  It was great fun.

So, a condom WILL fly.  But, trust me, it is NOT very durable.

I'm sure that management would have frowned on our hi-jinks, but as far as I know, they've never found out about it.

The closest that we came to getting caught was when Mark, AKA "Big Dick", got a treble fish hook stuck deep in his finger, and had to go to the Emergency Room to have it removed.  That was the wildest, most fabricated safety incidence report that I've ever known of.  "So how did you get this fish hook stuck in your finger?"  "And why was it attached to a rubber band?" 

Duane S

Wilson, North Carolina  USA

Sometimes you read what your mind tells you, guess what I read here:

"I can tell you that a condom will hold a large volumn of helium."... "we taped pennies to them for ballast"

Well.. it was not the word pennies that I read :D

lol, duane that was a very nice story :) i'd like my workplace to be just half that fun..

Yeah, I agree.  I wish that my current job was as much fun.  We were able to do things like that because we had a lot of idle time, and needed the distraction to keep from going crazy. 

During a midnight shift, we'd go from boring periods where 4 people could run the entire operation, to frantic periods where we needed 50 people, but didn't have them. 

The best part was that our crew was able to set several production and quaility records while engaged in these kind of distractions, and upper management never had a clue about how we did it.  And we were not telling.  Our standard answer was "good teamwork". 

Duane S

Wilson, North Carolina  USA

A meter squared can lift a lot of stuff! --They just have to be very, very flat...
Infinitely flat, you might say!!