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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Well, with the correct mechnical arrangement, rate gyros and acelerometers can give complimentary information. I thought TCG was asking why one would use both together (eg in applications such as a co-axial wheeled robot)...

just to precise, the gyro are almost always rate gyro, so they don't tell you which way are you ponting, but just how fast you are turning. For examle they can say "you're not turning" or "you are turning 5° per second", but they don't tell you "you're pointing 45°"
Oh yes.. erh.. well. some have a "memory" that you use to get the angle out. But you are of course right, the very gyro itself (if one of the new fancy ones with pulsing and stuff, and not the old fashioned kind with a motor spinning a disc) - the very gyro does not remember where it is tilted to. Something else must overlook the gyro and keep track if your current angle is what you are interested in.
i'm not too sure about the horizontal movement detection, maybe some sort of accelerometer, but i was thinking about this idea a little while ago, and found these for altitude sensing perhaps...

A cubic meter is 35.3 cubic feet. I found a party supply site here that sells helium in a small 14.9 cubic foot tank, for $40, so you might need more than 2 if shooting for 1 kg lift capacity. I read that a welding supply would be cheaper (and better quality) to get the helium, but you have the start-up cost of buying a $50-$75 regulator valve.

I've thought about the idea too, and considered dangerous (Hydrogen, 4 times the lifting power!) and hot air (huge envelope needed, plus some danger generating the flame).

you could also use a solenoid valve to control the amount of helium that gets in/out the baloon, but i've only seen heavy ones so far.

I think this would be a really good idea,

and if you did it, i would like to see. It probably would work,

if you try really hard. I hope you can do it!

There are several radio controlled helium ballon ships on the market already, so your plan is definitly doable. Here's an example.

What du you plan to use the servo for? 

 / vzz-clck-"Maneuver"

i looked around that site.. cool, they have nice stuff :)

The only thing: i could find a "blimp" for outdoor use.. they're all for indoor.. Maybe that size is not enought to substain open wind ? Should it be made bigger ?

Due to the shape, they are highly susceptable to light winds. Bigger , heavier and stronger motors would help, but then it gets to be an issue with where to fly it since the altitude is not something that can be easily controlled with these airships outside. I would find this a fairly difficult project, but doable as well....